Formula Open – endless potential

| Photographer Credit: Terry Marshall

Formula Open made its first appearance in the South Island, last weekend, at the Skope Classic in Christchurch. For those watching, it was fabulous. For the future, there is endless potential for this category. We have so many single seaters in garages that will be enticed out on the track, given the growing popularity of the category.

Twenty-cars lined up at Skope for four races – that’s a pretty good grid for first time in the South and at Skope.

We had three FT50s, two FT40s, a Formula Renault, several Formula Atlantics, some Radicals and a bunch of other neat single seaters – when the red lights went out and they took off, it definitely sounded like a TRS race of old.

Brendon Leitch pushing hard in the Formula Open category at the 2021 Skope Classic

At the pointy end of the grid we had some ex TRS drivers, Brendon Leitch (FT50) and Tom Alexander (FT50), dueling, with Sam McNeil (FT40) keeping them honest – and it was great racing.

The category is about single seater cars with wings and slicks. This largely consists of the some of the fastest single seater machinery in NZ such as ex Toyota Racing Series FT50 and FT40, plus F3, Formula Pacific/Atlantic/Holden and more. Already there is a series in the North Island that got underway last season with a four round series.

Previously these cars would have raced in Formula Libre (a form of automobile racing allowing a wide variety of types, ages and makes of purpose-built racing cars to compete “head to head”) but such is the growing interest that they can now race on their own.

Keep an eye on this category. There is plenty of these race cars in sheds which owners (and fans) will want to see out on track and Formula Open offers an opportunity to race, to be seen and heard.

The potential is exciting.

Benjamin Carrell

Benjamin Carrell is a freelance motorsport writer and currently edits He writes for a number of Kiwi drivers and motorsport clubs. That's when he's not working in his horticultural day-job or training for the next road or mtb cycle race!

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  1. Richard7K

    The Sports Racing Cars racing in this field were myself in a Juno LMP3 #73 (the blue and black car), Tim Edgell in the Radical SR3XX #8 (Yellow and black), Robert Hulme in the Nemesis #5 (yellow and black) and SID3, sorry haven’t got those details to hand.



    At the pointy end also was young Josh Donohue from Wellington – that’s him out in front in the red Tim O’Connor Vodafone Automotive FT-40. Third time in the car and first time ever at Ruapuna!!!