Ford unveiled a bold new 2012-specification Formula Ford car to visitors at the 2011 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.