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Any TNFers going to the Formula Ford Festival?


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#1 Bonde

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 21:14

Yes, I know, it's merely history in the making, but it's that time of year again - Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch, October 20-22.

We'll be there with our Aquilas - both cars will be entered and should be testing during the week as soon as we get them over from the final round of the Danish championship (October 15), although I will unfortunately not be able to be present at Brands myself until Friday.

Any TNF'ers happening to be there are most welcome by for a beer and a chat (I'll try to get the team to bring some beer for any TNF'er planning to stop by!).

So, anyone planning to go?

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#2 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 09:19

I'll probably just go on the Sunday as Saturday 21st is the HSCC finals meeting at Silverstone. Always a cracker with big grids as everyone wants one last go in their historics before hibernation..
Unfortunately the Festival these days is nothing like it once was. Personally I prefer the BRDC Walter Hayes meeting. Now that really will be something with well over 100 FF1600s battling through the heats - Nov 4/5th on Silverstone club circuit.

#3 Bonde

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 09:57

Andrew,

I agree that the Festival isn't what it used to be - nothing is. Hopefully Ford will get their act together and keep the regulations from causing massive technological inflation, with such things as FIA chassis homologations and mandatory crash tests. There are cheaper ways of achieving the same safety goals.

The reason we are in Formula Ford is that it is currently the only junior single seater class (apart from Formula Vee, which we unfortunately don't have here in Denmark) with free chassis (i.e. not a single make series), and as we want to build chassis that's our only but also best option. And Formula Ford is still fun, reasonably fast, almost affordable and it is not screwed up by aerodynamic appendages.

Still, one of my regrets in life is that I didn't begin to build Formula Fords 20 years ago (I'm too young to have done it much sooner) when evrything was simpler and cheaper. These days there is so much optimization involved, but that's the price of progress. This is the reason that Formula Vee appeals to me (in spite of the gawky and archaic propulsion and running gear) - the chassis rules give you some elbow room without need to squeeze the lemon to the last drop.

Anyway, do drop by for a chat (and perhaps a beer) on Sunday (I think our transporter for the Festival is black and has 'X3M events' signwritten on it - the awning (IIRC) is white.

Forgot to add: I also miss the old Kent-engined Formula Ford 1600 (the Formula Ford in ┬┤my book) - I do wish I could go to the Walter Hayes event. The Kent was such a nice little engine - unlike its heavy and bulky 1800 Zetec replacement, which at least is quite durable compared with the Kent. I'm looking forward to us getting the 'new' 1600 Duratec on the continent in the not too distant future - small, neat and light.

#4 guru_1071

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 12:40

my brother and i are racing my mini (#61) in the HGTCC races that are on at the ff festival.

a nice bit of saloon car action to break up the single seaters!

really looking forwards to it.

is there some 'classic' ff races with more 1960's stuff?

#5 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 12:51

As ever in the national UK racing scene, bad planning between the clubs (date clashes etc) as the Formula Ford Festival will be without the Historic Formula Ford's as they will be at Silverstone! The Classic FFs will be there though.

#6 bill moffat

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 13:12

Bonde, I hope to make it up to Brands but enjoy your weekend either way.

A word of warning though: the offer of free beer is a dangerous one, particularly in this company. I think you should qualify your offer to "one per badge-holder" or similar. :cool:

Incidentally Aquila used to run a distinctive and effective Sports 2000 car in the early 80's (and latterly in the Thundersports series). Any relationship to your cars ?

#7 Bonde

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 14:14

Bill,

You're right - I have to be very careful with my phrasing of anything beer-related in this forum! I can't even guarantee one beer for each TNF badge-holder (good point!), but I'll try...

I'm afraid our Aquila marque bears no relationship to the now defunct, but still succesful, S2000 Aquila marque (which became Shrike, IIRC), in anything other than the latin name for eagle. Our Aquila Racing Cars is a brand new Danish constructor, less than a year old, and our first and only product so far is the Aquila FZ1 Formula Ford, 1800 Zetec engine. We chose the name Aquila because it sounds catchy, no other current racing car manufacturer uses the name (although there is an Aquila sports car), the name is not trade name protected as it is a public domian name, latin for for eagle, important in this age of www, and out of respect for Gurney's beautiful AAE Eagle. Apologies for any confusion caused! We've achieved a brace of thirds, a fastest lap and a pole position so far in our first season in the Danish championship, with Tommy Nygaard - and we hope to step further up the podium for the Danish Championship season ender! As for the Festival - well, we'll obviously try our very best...


Hmmm, Andrew, who knows whether the organizers may have done this [date clash] on purpose in order to not let the Historics steal the thunder of the current generation in a direct comparison...;)

#8 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 14:47

I much prefer Formula Ford the way it is now than say under a decade ago. It really was absurd. I tested for some teams in 99 with view to a 2000 drive, and the costs and amount of testing they did was ridiculous. Its much more accessible now.

#9 ghinzani

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 18:52

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
I much prefer Formula Ford the way it is now than say under a decade ago. It really was absurd. I tested for some teams in 99 with view to a 2000 drive, and the costs and amount of testing they did was ridiculous. Its much more accessible now.


Yep, but conversely you could argue its not going to get you anywhere, or not as far as say winning in Formula BMW would. I remember a time when the British FF champ was seen as the hottest young property - people like Jason Elliot, Marc Goosens and even later ones like Webber and Button picked up so much momentum from FF.

I'm hoping to be at the festival btw, do they still run 1600's as well or is that only the Walter Hayes? I guess Joey Foster wont win the BRDC trophy this year as he broke his back in an F3 Lola a little while ago, shame.

#10 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 19:00

Yes, there is a Festival knockout for Kents too. Three finals this year(!) - Duratec, Zetec and Kents.
It was so much simpler and better back in the 70s/80s...
Timetable:
http://www.brscc.co....les/bh20oct.pdf

#11 philhitchings

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 19:04

fford one of my favourite events of the year. I'll be there not sure whether it's Saturday or Sunday yet or even both :)

#12 ghinzani

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 19:11

Originally posted by Andrew Kitson
Yes, there is a Festival knockout for Kents too. Three finals this year(!) - Duratec, Zetec and Kents.
It was so much simpler and better back in the 70s/80s...
Timetable:
http://www.brscc.co....les/bh20oct.pdf


Thanks very much. Do the Irish still pack out the Paddock grandstands? My faveourite Festival Final was the 94 Kent one actually, it was a two parter and a real nerve jangler. For me anyway!

#13 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 19:16

Originally posted by ghinzani


Yep, but conversely you could argue its not going to get you anywhere, or not as far as say winning in Formula BMW would.



Id rather be the 2006 Formula Ford champion than the 2006 Formula BMW champion. At least I'd know I was a racing driver and not taking part in the motorsport version of Flop Idol.

#14 ghinzani

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 19:26

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld



Id rather be the 2006 Formula Ford champion than the 2006 Formula BMW champion. At least I'd know I was a racing driver and not taking part in the motorsport version of Flop Idol.


Agree in that it would get you kudos on places like here for instance, but long term if you want to get to F1, have Japanese pit poopsies perform oral fun on you and retire with a very healthy bank balance then FBMW would be the way. Ask Vettel, Rosberg etc in 20 years time!

#15 ghinzani

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 19:32

The world's second biggest 10 mile event the 2006 BUPA Great South Run will take place in Portsmouth on Sunday 22 October.



No festival Sunday for me then... got to watch sibling run. Might see if I can get the Friday off work though, as it looks ok that day and doubtless very cheap to get in.

#16 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 19:34

My favourite Festival final was 1988.
What a race..the one Sospiri one with all 20 starters in one long snake for over half distance, chopping and changing positions. A few Irish still get in the Paddock stand (...and the Kentagon bar on the Saturday night!) but nothing how it used to be.
Oh the days of 200+ entries and eight heats. :rolleyes:

#17 MCS

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 19:43

Originally posted by Andrew Kitson
My favourite Festival final was 1988.
What a race..the one Sospiri one with all 20 starters in one long snake for over half distance, chopping and changing positions. A few Irish still get in the Paddock stand (...and the Kentagon bar on the Saturday night!) but nothing how it used to be.
Oh the days of 200+ entries and eight heats. :rolleyes:


Remember it well, Andrew. I chose Sospiri in a sweepstake!! What a final, as you say.

I haven't been since I don't think, unless Irvine won the year after, in which case I saw that.

(Used to go every year, but had heard it was no longer the spectacle of old).

#18 philhitchings

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 19:48

Originally posted by ghinzani


No festival Sunday for me then... got to watch sibling run. Might see if I can get the Friday off work though, as it looks ok that day and doubtless very cheap to get in.


IIRC JP pays you to go to Friday ;)

#19 ghinzani

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 19:51

Originally posted by Andrew Kitson
My favourite Festival final was 1988.
What a race..the one Sospiri one with all 20 starters in one long snake for over half distance, chopping and changing positions. A few Irish still get in the Paddock stand (...and the Kentagon bar on the Saturday night!) but nothing how it used to be.
Oh the days of 200+ entries and eight heats. :rolleyes:


I think I recall that one too, was it Ruari O'Coilaan (wrong spelling) in the works VD that year? I remember the Irish contingent going nuts over someone anyway.

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#20 ghinzani

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 19:53

Originally posted by MCS


Remember it well, Andrew. I chose Sospiri in a sweepstake!! What a final, as you say.

I haven't been since I don't think, unless Irvine won the year after, in which case I saw that.

(Used to go every year, but had heard it was no longer the spectacle of old).


Irvine was 87. What a year that was for him, running out of the works Van Diemen factory.... often with his arms full of spare parts, chassis etc ;) :rotfl:

#21 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 07:00

Don't forget the first four Festivals were held up here at Snetterton, Ian Taylor winning the first one in 1972 in a Dulon. Brands took over in 1976, Derek Daly winning for Hawke. My old mate Trevor Van Rooyen built his famous Minister engine to win 33 races in 1977 and the RAC FF title, it then went on to win a few races with Kenny Acheson in 1978 before blowing up in a test session. The engine reappeared as 'patch', the block patched by Minister as it says, and it went on to win 4 festival finals!

A few Festival memories here chaps on this montage I painted for Brands commentator Brian Jones.
It features the following winners:
Derek Daly ('76), Don McLeod ('79), Roberto Moreno ('80), Julian Bailey ('82), Andrew Gilbert-Scott ('83), Johnny Herbert ('85), Roland Ratzenberger ('86), Eddie Irvine ('87), Dave Coyne ('90), Jan Magnussen ('92), Jason Watt ('94), Mark Webber ('96), Jenson Button ('98), in the centre Anthony Davidson and Danica Patrick finishing 1-2 for Haywood Racing (2000) plus Mr.Festival himself Rick Morris who finished second no less than 3 times.

Van Diemen, works Mygale team Haywood Racing, Solus engines and Mike 'Fulmar' Taylor jointly commissioned the work and presented it to Brian to commemorate his 25th commentary of the Brands Festival.
http://www.andrewkit...tival-print.htm

#22 Bonde

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 09:11

Andrew,

It's good to see this thread turning out to be nostalgia about the FFF, too!

Great painting, as ever - and of course, I'm pleased that there are two Danes on it! Correct me if I'm wrong, though: Wasn't Magnussen's Foundation Racing Van Diemen RF92 in Duckhams colours for the Festival? That's my recollection, anyway (I didn't take any pictures of the race, only of cars with bodywork removed...) It was a great event, and we were a small Danish contingent there, who screamed ourselves hoarse in support of Jan. I also really liked Jan's response to Brian Jones when Brian interviewed Jan after the final: Brian: "Well, Jan, surely, you must be proud of yourself - what have you got to say?" - Jan, in that dark voice of his: "I'm proud of myself". Unfortunately business commitments kept me away in 1994 (I was planning to go) when Watt won. Two Danes in the space of 3 years was more than most of expected. But, damn, Jason Watt was a fine driver - and still is, in spite of his paralysis. He's a lovely bloke, too. That was such a sad story (as was his Monaco fumble...).

As for your painting, I find it so appropriate that "the eternal bridesmaid" Rick Morris is represented, too. I wonder whatever happened to him?

Apart from Lees at Snetterton in 1975, Royale never did win the Festival again, which is rather odd, because if anyone in the late seventies to early eighties were close to Van Diemen in terms of success and number of chassis out there, it surely was Royale [I have heard rumours that Van Diemen were less, shall we say, reluctant to run bent engines at the Festival - but that's just hearsay]. Dunno why - I always rooted for Royale in those days - maybe because I thought Royale's cars were more interesting to look at - the RP24 is for me the Formula Ford. Not as easy to set up and drive as the RF77-RF80 series Van Diemens (which are great, practical cars but just rather boring aesthetically, IMO), but, boy, the RP24 just looks right.

Of course, there have also been the small manufacturers who have upset 'the establishment' from time to time - notably Don McLeod's (only repeat winner) Sark, Johnny Herbert's Quest and nearly so Peter Roger's Laser (of course I'll be rooting for Aquila to upset 'the establishment' this year ;)

As for the format of the Festival, it seems to me almost inevitable that it would be watered down somewhat over time due to the engine changes, which are understandable from Ford's perspective, leading to parallel classes, so to speak. I'm not sure anyone in 1993 would have predicted that the 1600 Kent would simply refuse to lie down and die - and that the Zetec would survive in front line service for over a dozen years. In a sense, the parallel classes are IMO testament to the popularity of Formula Ford, whatever engine is on the menu du jour...

#23 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 09:25

Bonde, thanks for the kind words.
Great days weren't they! Yes Jan's Van Diemen did wear Duckhams colours, only for the final though I think, which I found out after painting! A late deal was done. Using artistic licence I will say my painting depicts a heat or semi! Was not in the country for the festival that year.
The RP24 was agreed a great looking little car and a big change from Rory's previous RP21 design.
Rick Morris is still as busy as ever with his car dealership in Hertford, his son Stevie has done some FF and raced touring cars in South Africa.

#24 2F-001

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 09:31

The 'Magnussen' Festival final was a really exciting race - I've watched that over and over on tape. (Was that the last fully Kent-engined Festival? I seem to remember that Russell Ingall won the first Zetec one, having stepped down from German F3; that always looked a little like pot-hunting to me, but no doubt he worked hard to master the new, and seemingly less forgiving, cars, and he was impressively dominant.

When Magnussen has his win, I think the Festival and FF in general had begun to edge away from the guaranteed muti-car, three and four-abreast battles with so many place changes that you couldn't count them - but that Festival confirmed that it was still a great, closely-fought category; shame it had to change...


I think my most vivid of many memories of seeing Rick Morris race, was of him outfoxing Ayrton Senna/da Silva (already a much-vaunted rising star by then - with some folk suggesting he was a future WDC even then) at Woodcote on the last lap at the Silverstone Finals day, by launching himself over the chicane kerbing.

#25 MonzaDriver

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 09:32

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld



Id rather be the 2006 Formula Ford champion than the 2006 Formula BMW champion. At least I'd know I was a racing driver and not taking part in the motorsport version of Flop Idol.


Yes !!!
Unfortunately I've never seen a Formula Ford festival at Brands Hatch, bur they were so terrific that all around the world this race is know............the past races also.
Formula BMW end tomorrow, no one really cares.
Ciao.

MonzaDriver.

#26 Bonde

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 19:37

So, did anyone turn up? If so, I missed you.

I'll be the first one to admit that the FFF this year was, sadly, a mere shadow of its former self - and I'm not saying that just because both our cars crashed out of the Zetec final! :cry:

Of course the weather, particularly on Sunday, didn't help one bit, but the early 1990s Festivals I attended had big crowds also when it was pouring down! I suppose they were all waiting to go to the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone - why didn't they have that at Brands over the FFF weekend?

Still, we enjoyed ourselves (sortof), got much favourable comment about our car, got to chat with rival team managers and designers, and we learned a lot, too. And we drank all the beers...

#27 philhitchings

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 07:31

I was only there for a few hours on sunday and never made it to the paddock. Peopel seemed to be enjoying themselves though. I must admit the the turn out does seem to be less and less each year

#28 philhitchings

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 07:31

I was only there for a few hours on sunday and never made it to the paddock. Peopel seemed to be enjoying themselves though. I must admit the the turn out does seem to be less and less each year

#29 philhitchings

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 07:31

I was only there for a few hours on sunday and never made it to the paddock. Peopel seemed to be enjoying themselves though. I must admit the the turn out does seem to be less and less each year