Preparations and planning is well underway for the inaugural South Island Formula Ford Historic Series which will take place over this coming summer. Running on their own separate dance-card, the category will cater for pre 1 July 1980 manufactured Formula Ford in a four-round series on South Island circuits.
Currently, the South Island Formula Ford Club run the very successful South Island Formula 1600 Championship for Class 1 (>2000), Class 2 (1990-2000) and Class 3 (<1990) Formula Ford race cars. With year-on-year growing interest in racing Formula Ford, grid numbers continue to increase as it attracts both young drivers moving up from kartsport and cars out of garages with drivers returning to the category. Coupled with this is the influx of brand new cars, particularly over the last three years.
“We have continually seen an increase in the grid sizes of our South Island Formula 1600 Championship,” commented Derek Wilson, SIF1600 race co-ordinator. “Hence, we have now seen the opportunity to run a separate Historic, or Classic, series which will have their own races, not necessarily at the SI F1600 meetings.
“We have had approximately 50 expressions of interest in competing in the coming season (SIF1600 Championship) and at the moment the South Island circuits just cannot accommodate this many cars. Having a separate standalone historic series will go some way to alleviate and accommodate all those that wish to race their historic Formula Ford.
“So far we have had about 17 expressions of interest in the category. There appears to be a need for shorter races, so eight to ten laps rather than the usual ten to twelve, coupled with a bigger gap between rounds.”
It is envisaged that a four-round series will take place this summer with three rounds already confirmed and a fourth pending.
“The manufacturing date of pre 1 July 1980 isn’t an absolute,” explained Wilson. “But these are the targeted cars. It will be a sanctioned series so, no modified motors. Engines may be bored to 40/1,000th oversize and only one adjustment on their dampers will be allowed. If a car, in spirit, conforms to the earlier configuration, then it should fit into the category.
“It will be a mater of seeing how it goes, the appeal will be that those entering will be competing with similar machinery and will no longer be at the back of the field looking in their mirrors.”
The South Island Formula Ford Club recently celebrated their 40th anniversary at the Formula Ford Festival held at the Mike Pero Motorsport Park in Christchurch. The one-day event attracted 70 entries from all round New Zealand which also celebrated 50 years of Formula Ford racing in the country.
Proposed 2021/22 Calendar
1/ Rnd1 – 5 November – Timaru International Raceway
2/ Rnd 2 – December – to be decided
3/ Rnd 3 – 12/13 February 2022 – Timaru International Raceway
4/ Rnd 4 – 19/20 March 2022 – Teretonga Park, Invercargill
Main picture: #59 Matt Hamilton (Royale RP21) – Photo Euan Cameron