This all-new Formula Ford racer represents the latest leap forward for the series, which has entered its 44th year of competition. Formula Ford sees many of its drivers progress to successful careers in the World Rally Championship and Formula One racing. Slated to make its racing debut at the 2012 Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain (*whew!*), the racer will be introduced in a number of series around the globe.
While you're waiting for our live photos and impressions from the floor of the Frankfurt Motor Show, check it out in our gallery above and full details in the press release after the jump.
• Ford unveils bold new 2012-specification Formula Ford car, making increasing use of road car technologies and featuring latest 1.6-litre Ford EcoBoost engine
• New car to be initially introduced in 2012 Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain. Plans being finalised to introduce the car into new and existing championships around the globe
• All-new design is first tubular steel single seat car to meet latest FIA safety standards. Compliance to FIA standards opens up markets for the formula
• Formula Ford continues to be a key proving ground for development of driving and engineering talent, from where successful careers in Formula 1 have been achieved by many
FRANKFURT, Germany, Sept. 12, 2011 – Ford today unveiled a bold new 2012-specification
Formula Ford car to visitors at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It's the formula that has been an
essential step in the professional racing driver's career for more than 40 years and this all-new
car for next season will have talented young drivers around the world eager to get behind the
wheel to prove their mettle.
The new-generation Formula Ford cars will use a production-based 1.6-litre Ford EcoBoost
direct injection, turbocharged engine, limited to producing around 165PS and 220Nm, and
mated to a 6-speed sequential transmission with mechanical shift mechanism. The 2012
specification car represents another advance in technology and performance for the formula.
Freedom of chassis design, engine build and numerous technical items of specification have
always been standout features of Formula Ford and this continues with the 2012 specification
car. With only Formula 1 and Formula 3 offering this same level of freedom, it helps drive
technical standards to exceptionally high levels from car manufacturers, teams and drivers alike.
The different implications of car set-up and each individual chassis variation, create a steep
learning curve for drivers in particular, helping to accelerate the development of their abilities to take the next step in motorsport.
Ford's global kinetic design philosophy is also echoed in the new-generation car, giving fans of
the championship a style they can easily recognise. Car manufacturers will still be able to add
that crucial individual touch to their cars though, with only the requirement to keep specific parts developed for aerodynamic equivalence mandated in the regulations.
Creating a safe environment is a key concern for Formula Ford, and the new car boasts
increased levels of safety including a tubular chassis - the first in a single seat racer to comply with the latest, stringent FIA safety standards - front and rear carbon crash structures, side intrusion panels, FIA specification head restraint system, wheel tethers and an FIA removable seat.
FIA compliance will allow the 2012 specification car to be applicable for Formula Ford
championships around the globe, especially in emerging markets where alignment to FIA
regulations is commonplace.
"The 2012 specification car's FIA approved safety attributes, powerful Ford EcoBoost engine
and striking kinetic design, make for a really appealing proposition for race teams and drivers," said Mike Norton, motorsport manager, Ford of Europe. "Formula Ford is already well-known as the perfect proving ground for up-and-coming drivers and engineers, and it is Ford's desire to continue nurturing this by supporting teams and manufacturers across the globe with the safest environment, latest technologies and most attractive packages. Formula Ford is in its 44th consecutive year and remains a very popular choice for drivers around the world. Many Formula Ford drivers have gone onto careers in Formula 1. This is a great compliment to Formula Ford and we are at Ford proud of this achievement."
For race teams and car manufactures Formula Ford represents a fantastic opportunity to prove
their abilities and highlights Ford's dedication to continuing its support of motorsport. From
World Rally Championship to single seat racing, Ford's motorsport heritage is one of the longest and strongest of any manufacturer. The 2012 specification Formula Ford car will carry that torch into the future with some style.