The Formula Ford is Open Wheel Race Vehicle with 4 wheels and bars. This was used in the TOCA Series.


The Anatomy of the Vehicle is a kind of Open Wheel car only with 4 wheels and bars on it. It was made by the Ford Motor Company. Formula Ford is a single seater, open wheel class in motorsport which exists in some form in many countries around the world. It is an entry-level series to motor racing, in which in the past many drivers aspired to one day reach Formula One (today karting is more likely to be a young driver's entry to serious formula car racing).


When the formula was first established, it ran on road tyres, used road gearboxes, and a price cap was placed on rolling chassis - the intention was very much to create an affordable form of single-seater racing. John Webb of Brands Hatch, Geoff Clarke of Motor Racing Stables (the circuit's resident race driving school) and Jim Russell were largely responsible for its creation. The first Formula Ford car was Team Lotus' 1966 Type 31 which was derived from the Lotus 22 Formula Junior. Unlike its great rival as an entry level formula, Formula Vee, the Formula Ford cars use full racing suspension setups.

The FormulaEdit

Formula Ford racing exists in two main forms: National Series run around the world using the 1600 Duratec engine, (which replaced the heavier but not significantly more powerful Zetec engine in 2006); and a mainly amateur, club-racing series attracting serious enthusiasts using the now elderly 1600 Kent Engine with which the formula ran from mid-sixties to mid-nineties. The car can provide drivers with their first insights into how a racing car feels to drive and how to properly set up a car, or it can provide a relatively inexpensive way for drivers to campaign purpose-built racecars for many years. Many Formula Ford 1600 series exist for drivers of the older Kent powered cars.

A Formula Ford car is one of the more distinctive-looking open-wheel race cars because it does not have wings to create aerodynamic downforce, one of the reasons the series has persisted for so long in motor racing. Top speeds in the National Class are as high as in the other Junior Formulae of BMW and Renault, but the cornering speeds are lower due to the downforce-producing aerodynamic aids on the other cars. Handling is entirely down to mechanical grip, and the lack of wings ensures that cars following another are not aerodynamically disadvantaged, allowing close racing with plenty of overtaking. Series' rules may permit slick tires or treaded tires. As the rules limit modifications, all cars are relatively equal and close racing results. Still, Formula Fords allow suspension and braking bias changes, if not aerodynamic options like winged cars.

Formula Ford cars weigh 410/420 kg (1000 lb), so their engines, which typically develop about 140/115 hp, are capable of propelling them from 0–100 km/h in 3.9 seconds, reaching top speeds of nearly 235/220 km/h (150/140 mph). The engine is usually a stressed member of the chassis, as in larger and more advanced Formula cars.

Several famous race drivers have used the formula as a step up to international competitions. For example, David Coulthard and Jenson Button were both British Formula Ford champions; Gerdus Smit; Danica Patrick, the American Indy Racing League (IRL) racer, finished second in the British Formula Ford Festival early in her career. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Emerson Fittipaldi and Jody Scheckter were both competing in Grands Prix within a year or so of starting Formula Ford in Britain.

Many championships are run around the world for Formula Ford including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Asia, and South Africa. Each run instrinsically the same rules and regulations with minor variations for local conditions.

Ford Championships around the worldEdit

The ChassisEdit

In order to reduce cost, chassis are steel space-frame, unlike the monocoques found in other types of single seater racing. The more popular marques are currently Van Diemen, Mygale and the Australian built Spectrum, but smaller manufacturers such as Ray or Vector have had some success. In recent years, in the United States, Pipers have also been campaigned with strong results. Historical designers who have made a mark on the series have included: Titan, Lotus, Merlyn, Citation, Swift, Euroswift, Elden, Reynard, Crosslé, Lola, Zink Bowin and Cooper Racing.

The EngineEdit

Formula Ford racing cars can be fitted with different engines. After some very early races with the 1500 cc Ford Cortina GT engine, the formula rapidly adopted the OHV 1600 cc Ford Kent engine, using production blocks with little special preparation. In 1994, Ford replaced its Kent block engine with the more modern and more powerful 1800 cc 16-valve Zetec. The advent of the Zetec created a new class of Formula Ford cars popular in some countries, although the increased weight of the engine was felt to adversely affect the handling of the cars. The formula originally mandated production gearboxes, wheels and tyres (and a maximum cost for the rolling chassis, although this was long since abandoned!), although Formula Fords now use racing gearboxes and, in some championships, slick tyres.

For the 2006 season, the Zetec engine is being superseded by the 1600 cc, DOHC 16v Duratec engine. The Zetec was criticized by engineers and designers as less than ideal because of its bulk and weight. The move to Duratecs has brought Formula Ford back to using 1.6 L capacity motors. Despite the capacity decrease, the new engines are more powerful than the Zetecs, and weigh more than 20 kg less, reducing overall weight and increasing performance significantly.

Unusually for any racing formula, one Minister Racing Engines-built engine became a legend - known as "Patch" after the number of times its cylinder block had been repaired, the same unit won several Formula Ford festivals in different hands.


Ford administers some of the national Formula Ford championships around the world, but older cars are very popular with club racers, providing the ground for several organizations to run their own series. Many racing schools offer driver training in Formula Ford cars. However, in many countries, Formula BMW and Formula Renault Campus had superseded Formula Ford as the main entry level class, however 2006/7 have seen the Ford grids outdoing the BMW's and Renault's. In the UK there are many less important regional series aimed at the amateur enthusiast, as well as championships for older Fords.