Here are short answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Formula Ford, and directions for finding more information:
What is Formula Ford anyway?
Formula Ford is the name for a specific type of racing car. Formula Fords are purpose-built, single seaters which are well known to be a great training ground for career-minded drivers, and a very enjoyable and highly competitive class for all participants, whether they want to race professionally or just have some on-track fun on the weekends. Formula Ford has a reputation for being one of the most economical of all road racing classes. All the cars are powered by the same Ford 1600cc (1.6 litre) four cylinder engine. Only limited modifications are allowed to the engine, and wings and other aerodynamic devices are not permitted at all.
How fast do they go?
The top speed that a Formula Ford will reach depends on the layout of the race track and particularly on the length of straightaway. With the appropriate gearing, a Formula Ford can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6 seconds and can reach speeds in excess of 130 mph (210 kmh).
How do I get started in British Columbia?
It’s not as difficult as you might think. Click here to learn more. It might sound a bit confusing when you read about it for the first time but it really isn’t. We will be glad to guide you through the process; just ask.
How old does a driver have to be to race in Formula Ford?
A 15 year-old may apply for a CACC Junior Regional Automobile Race Licence subject to the following conditions: All applicants must have achieved their 15th birthday – no exceptions, they must produce a valid karting licence issued by ASN Canada FIA or an ASN-affiliated kart club, and proof of competing in at least two full seasons of ASN-sanctioned kart racing, have successfully completed an CACC/ASN-recognised race driving school, and have passed the normal CACC/ASN medical examination for a first-time application. For more information, contact the CACC License Administrator. Full CACC Contact Information is available on their web site – here. If you are a young karter and aren’t sure whether you meet these requirements, we will be glad to answer any questions and help you through the process.
How do I move a Formula Ford around?
Obviously, a Formula Ford is not street legal so you can’t just drive it to the race track! Therefore, you will need access to a trailer of some sort and a tow vehicle that can pull it safely. Formula Fords are light (less than 1000 lb. empty) and can easily be moved around by a single person. A small, open, single vehicle trailer is all you need, and you will probably be able to share, borrow or rent one just to get started. As always, if you aren’t completely sure, the best advice is to check with an experienced racer before buying any trailer. They may even know where you can get a good deal on one.
How much does it cost?
Let’s get one thing out of the way. Racing is not cheap. But if racing is in your blood and you know you have that need for speed, the Formula Ford class is the best bang for the buck in motorsport racing, which explains its continuing popularity, even after a solid 40 years in existence. Formula Ford cars are relatively abundant and can be purchased anywhere from a few thousand to $40,000. Their very basic design and open wheel concept makes the cars simple to fix and easy to work on, without compromising performance.
Most racers in our neck of the woods race cars used in what’s known as the Club Ford class, whose prices range roughly from $5,000 to $16,000, depending on condition. These cars are pre-1981 vintage with outboard shocks and are constructed with mild steel tubing. Post-1981 cars use inboard suspension with struts constructed with more expensive aircraft grade tubing. Damaging a Club Ford class car means a far less expensive repair job, but you may sacrifice a wee bit in your top speed due to the slightly reduced aerodynamics of the suspension.
In our area, by gentlemen’s agreement, we use pump gas (Chevron 94) and standard American Racer tires. These harder compound tires cost around $500/set and can last a full season without falling off significantly. Many of our Formula Ford race drivers spend around $1000 per season (excluding entry fees) on car operating costs, which is incredibly low in this sport where some classes will spend that in a single day at the track.
Those of us who race Formula Fords know there really is no other class in the price range that has the driving feel characteristic of pre-electronics Formula One days as Formula Ford. The great Peter Egan acknowledges in this Road and Track magazine article that Formula Ford is designed to keep costs down and fun up.
If you would like more information about joining us in Formula Ford in BC, we'd love to hear from you.