More cars expected on the grid as Formula Open sets summer calendar

| Photographer Credit: Terry Marshall

The dust has barely settled yet organisers have been busy behind the scenes setting the platform for the upcoming 2021/22 Formula Open (FONZ) season.

The proposed six round series will get underway in November at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon in the iconic MG Classic event. In the New Year the second round will be part of the iconic Skope Classic at Ruapuna in Christchurch in February.

The category will remain down south for its first trip to the Teretonga circuit in Invercargill, again in February, before heading back north for the remaining three rounds.

Category Manager John Tomlin knows confirming the calendar is an important step for competitors and prospective competitors.

“While we are still looking to confirm the two final events, we’ve locked in to the first four and we know competitors appreciate the advanced notice” Tomlin said.

“We’ve got some great events which we are really pleased to be a part of, to showcase the variety of cars set for the series, this season. We’ve had more people purchase cars already for the next season so the class numbers are looking strong.

“We’re also working on a revised points system and increased media coverage to ensure there’s great racing and great series exposure.”

Tomlin likes the fact the series caters for all types of racer, “Whilst it’s a serious wings and slicks class with some serious hard chargers, there’s also a great bunch of mid-field racers looking to improve their skills every time they hit the track. It makes for great racing across the field.”

Tatuus FT-50’s, 40’s (ex TRS cars) as well as Swift, Reynard, Ralt Formula Atlantic’s and Formula Renault’s will make up the bulk of the field. The driver line-up already includes Sam MacNeill, James Watson, Gary Rush and defending series champion Josh Donohue, with appearances expected from Tom Alexander, Kenny Smith and Brendon Leitch. 

Brendon Leitch (FT50) at the 2021 Skope Classic in Christchurch

Key category supporter Tim O’Connor from Vodafone Automotive Racing has a number of FT-40s available for sale and is keen to see them on the track.

“Both FT-40s we campaigned last year placed first and second in the series and we had two other FT-40s running in the top five pretty consistently. We’ve sold two further ’40s’ since the series finished, including the championship car, so we know there’s going to be some good competition this year as these cars are very competitive. There are more of these cars available” O’Connor said.

Whilst organisers are aware of most competitors aiming to line up this year if you’re keen to be part of the action please get in contact with FONZ Category Manager John Tomlin on 021 759 820 or email johntomlin@xtra.co.nz and check out the FONZ Facebook site.

The 2021/22 series dates are:

Round 1 – MG Classic, Manfeild, November 12th – 14th 2021
Round 2 – Skope Classic, Ruapuna, February 4th – 6th 2022
Round 3 – Teretonga, February 19th – 20th 2022
Round 4 – TBC Legends of Speed, Hampton Downs, March 26th 2022
Round 5 – Great Lake Meeting, Taupo BMMP, April 23rd 2022
Round 6 – TBC Season Finale May 2022 Hampton Downs

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