Formula Ford began in England in 1967 as a cost-effective and reliable training formula for the pupils at the Brands Hatch-based Motor Racing Stables. But it very quickly outgrew these origins to become one of the best-known and most instantly recognised racing categories worldwide.
The majority of Formula One stars, both past and present, began their top-level careers in Formula Ford. World Champions, including Ayrton Senna, Jacques Villeneuve, Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher and Mikka Hakkinen, first came to attention during their junior years in Formula Ford.
Australia's recent Formula One stars, Mark Webber and Daniel Ricciardo, began their top-level career in Australian Formula Ford.
Many past and present Australian champions, including Russell Ingall, Marcos Ambrose, Garth Tander, Jamie Whincup, Steven Richards, Craig Lowndes, Jason Bright and Rick Kelly, honed their racing skills in Formula Ford.
About the Queensland championship
The Queensland Formula Ford Championship is one of the most competitive and hotly contested open wheeler categories in Australia. Conducted over six rounds at Morgan Park Raceway, near Warwick and Queensland Raceway, near Ipswich, the championship attracts competitors from all walks of life, from budding teenage superstars on the path to motorsport greatness to 'gentlemen' drivers who enjoy racing a car they own, engineer and prepare.
Eligible to compete in the championship are Formula Ford racing cars powered by the normally aspirated Ford 1600cc 'Kent' four cylinder engine complying with the current Formula Ford 1600 technical regulations.
However the Ford Fiesta 'Duratec' 1600cc engined cars may race alongside the traditional 'Kent' engine within their own class championship classification.
Furthermore, 'Historic' Formula Fords are welcome to compete in State Championship events; there is even a seperate class for historic competitors.
This unique formula caters for drivers with the ambition to 'test their skills'. Machine performance is controlled to allow the emphasis to be placed on the driver's ability and the team or owner's setup expertise.
Formula Ford racing cars are designed to comply with a strict set of rules. The key elements of the Formula are:
Made of tubular space frame construction confined to maximum dimensions. Exotic materials are prohibited. Constructors' aim to maximise torsional rigidity and minimise weight while maintaining the highest level of driver safety.
A grooved racing tyre is chosen for optimum grip under all weather conditions. Currently the Category uses the Yokohama Advan AO48 tyre.
Kent - The normally aspirated Ford 1600cc 'Kent', four cylinder engine, with crossflow head, is tuned to provide roughly 110hp. All components and measurements are specified and controlled by the Category.
Duratec - 1600cc, DOHC four-cylinder Ford Fiesta engine, sealed on cylinder head and front and rear crankshaft seal covers. The engine is tuned to develop 125 bhp at 7,000rpm.
Full racing car suspension designs are used to ensure maximum tyre grip at various cornering speeds. Chassis balance is adjustable and controlled by damper, spring and anti-roll bar combinations.
Limited to 4 forward gears. Ratios can be changed to suit various circuits and conditions.
Four wheel disc brakes have independent front and rear activation. Front/rear bias is adjustable within the cockpit.
Include chassis requirements, roll over hoop, foot protection and material specifications. Drivers' harness and fire extinguishers etc. are to comply with FIA and CAMS requirements.
Are not allowed. Down force is limited to the combination of chassis design / set-up and tyre grip, together with the natural forces of gravity.
The minimum weight of a Formula Ford in racing condition, with fluids and driver with apparel must not be less than 510 kg at any point in an event.
Full technical regulations can be found on the Formula Ford Association website.