History of Formula Ford 1600
Formula Ford began in England in 1967 as a practical and inexpensive training ground for drivers. It soon rose to become one of the most popular categories worldwide, and is recognized as a crucial step in a racing driver's career. Formula Ford is responsible for culminating the talent of many, and the tradition continues today as "FF" produces future stars. The class was brought into America during 1969 and there are hundreds of Formula Fords in the country. In 1985 Swift released the DB-1, which dominated for years and is the basis of all modern Formula Fords. With the introduction of the fuel-injected Honda Fit motor in 2009 the class was renamed F1600 or Formula F, while in other parts of the world - the class is also called FF1600. Today "FF" is raced in vintage, regional, and national level series.
Some of the "FF1600" alumni include Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, Daniel Riccardo, etc...
Vintage FF1600 Cars
Aryton Senna - 1981
Formula Ford, one of the greatest success stories in all of motorsport, has proven to be one of the best training grounds for aspiring drivers for the last 50 years. With an open rule book, this is one of the few classes left in motorsport that still has several chassis manufacturers from around the world. F1600 provides a pure wheel-to-wheel racing experience because the car is not allowed to have any wings. It is important to master a car that relies solely on mechanical grip before moving on to a high-downforce car. Winning drivers depend on drafting, car control, and carrying momentum into the corner to be quick. There is a lot to learn in F1600 which translates directly into higher levels of professional racing.
Two engine options (HPD & Ford) producing
almost identical HP is used in the U.S. and Canada.
Top speeds are around 145 mph
The Gearbox is a Staff/Hewland 4 speed racing box + reverse.
The car is a Multi-tubular chassis construction with fiberglass bodywork, weighing 1110 lbs with the driver.
Full racing brakes, data system, uprights, suspension, and dampers.
Tires in the United States are Hoosier R60 compound racing radials.
In the United States, the car campaigns at SCCA events and in the F1600 Championship Series.
Lee Racing team driver's on track
Lee Racing team driver's on the track
Leading the pack at Sebring
F1600 Championship Series - race start!
Kart to Cars/Driver Development
Without any doubt, Formula Ford is a vital step in a driver's career. It is common to spend your early years in an affordable class where you can get loads of track time. The racing is fierce and it is hard to get away from the pack. You will be introduced to many new concepts that will be difficult to learn in a wing car.
If you ask any professional driver about Formula Ford, they'll most likely tell you that it was one of the most important and enjoyable years of their career.
A karter can jump into an F1600 car and do very well after getting used to the car. Why not do it with Lee Racing, a team that has shown strength and honesty since its inception.
Jonathan learning the basics at the karting level
Jonathan transferring his skills to winning in the rain
F2000 is a class that was started in England during the 1970s. It is similar to F1600 and could be called its "bigger brother". The differences include more horsepower, bigger tires, and the addition of downforce devices. F2000 is not a spec class and finding the best package is a part of the game. While the car count is no longer large at a national level, it is still a great car to drive and a relatively cheap way to get seat time in a Formula Car with wings!
Kyle in his "Lee Racing" engineered Zetec Van Diemen
Kyle starts on the front row in the 2011 F2000 Championship Series
Kyle takes his 6th Victory and the 2011 "Rookie of the Year" award (6 wins out of 12 races!)