A working group has been put together to go through the process and is headed by Motorsport Australia Director of Motorsport & Commercial Operations Michael Smith. The group includes stake holders Jamie Augustine, Andrew Jones, Ryan McLeod, Mike Borland and Jeromy Moore.
They are working on the creation of a car for the future, a modern and safe update to the current machinery while retaining the philosophy of the category as a low grip, low aero class that has endeared it for so long.
The cars will still have a tubular chassis, but will feature several new safety components, including the halo, front and rear crash structures, side impact crash structure, an extractable seat, driver headrest, sidepods and wheel tethers. Whether the style of gearchange is retained is still to be decided, also the prospect of a five-speed sequential is something to be considered.
Both the current cars, the older Kent-engined and the next generation Duratec powered models will remain eligible and compete alongside the new cars in a three-tied class structure. When the new cars will debut in the Formula Ford National Championship they won't be eligible for competing in MA State Championships until a date to be confirmed.
Currently no Formula Ford series has cars with halos or a carbon fibre chassis. The development of the halo will be for tube chassis cars which Pace Engineering are in the process of developing and producing.
“Motorsport Australia is committed to working closely with Formula Ford Australia, as well as with teams and manufacturers ahead of the roll out of this new generation car. It's important we get this right and provide a platform that will allow the category the best opportunity to thrive in a changing motorsport landscape,” Smith said.
“We're excited about the future of Formula Ford and its place as a pathway for junior development for the next generation of motorsport competitors.”
The prospect of the new cars has been endorsed by Australian Motor Racing Commission (AMRC) Chair Ryan Story AM. “Both Will (Davison) and Anton (DePasquale) are Formula Ford Champions, and it's fantastic to be able to give back with a Supercar test day for the reigning champion.”
Formula Ford Australia's Phil Marrinon is also fully supportive. “Motorsport Australia and Formula Ford Australia both remain committed to encouraging ‘grassroots' pathways into motorsport and so maintaining that cost-efficiency as part of the chassis upgrade is crucial, along with the step up in driver safety that the new chassis should deliver.”
“Given what we have seen in terms of the introduction of new cars in and around other categories of motorsport, 2027 is a realistic target for full introduction of a new Formula Ford.”
The new car is estimated to cost between $110,000 and $130,000 only slightly more expensive than the cost of a current car.