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Formula Ford in the 1970s


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#1 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 04:49

Is there anywhere on the web that I can look up British Formula Ford race and championship results for the 1970's. Initially I am trying to trace Mike Thackwells progress in the category, who his entrant was and whether he ran Van Diemen or Royale cars.
Cheers

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#2 Michael Clark

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 05:35

Is there a web site that lists all the FFords of the 60s and 70s?

#3 Rob29

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 08:16

Thackwell ran a red Van Diemen-Scholar RF78 in his first season in 'Star of Tommorow' championship for novices 1978.
Brands GP 1st+FL
Brands ? +FL
Donington 1st
Snetterton Crashed
Mallory DSQ
C.Combe 1st
Croft 1st
Mallory 2nd
Brands Crashed
Cadwell 1st
Brands 2nd
3rd in championship 72 pts.

#4 Mallory Dan

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 13:02

By the end of that year, 78, MIke T was also going very well in the 'senior' FF races, again with that RF78, run by Rushen Green IIRC.

#5 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 17:15

Originally posted by Rob29
Thackwell ran a red Van Diemen-Scholar RF78 in his first season in 'Star of Tommorow' championship for novices 1978.
Brands GP 1st+FL
Brands ? +FL
Donington 1st
Snetterton Crashed
Mallory DSQ
C.Combe 1st
Croft 1st
Mallory 2nd
Brands Crashed
Cadwell 1st
Brands 2nd
3rd in championship 72 pts.


It was a Scorpion Race Hire RF78, Scorpion was run by Mike Eastick. James Weaver also raced for them. South African Kenny Gray was in a Scorpion Royale RP25 in FF2000 in '77.

#6 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 06:33

That was the reason for my post actually. I believed that Scorpion Race Hire ran Royales from Thruxton, and that Bobby King, Royale's founder was an old mate of Ray Thackwell's.
I also had thought that Mike's early successes were in a Van Diemen, despite having a job with Scorpion. I was struggling to make the link. Clearly Scorpion ran Van Diemens too, and perhaps they were better than the Royales of the time.
Who was Thackwells entrant in F3, was it a private or works March - does anyone have any early Thackwell piks?

#7 cosworth bdg

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 06:51

Originally posted by Huw Jadvantich
Is there anywhere on the web that I can look up British Formula Ford race and championship results for the 1970's. Initially I am trying to trace Mike Thackwells progress in the category, who his entrant was and whether he ran Van Diemen or Royale cars.
Cheers

Mike Thackwell was a New Zealander who spent his formative years in australia before going to the UK to further his motorsport career.......................................................

#8 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 07:04

So his first races were in Australia not in the UK?
My theory was that although a NZer who had spent time in Aus he actually started racing in the UK, first Formula Ford then Formula Three. i'm not sure how many seasons of FF he did before the F3 started though. Couldn't have been many he wasn't old enough.

#9 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 07:23

From Mike Kettlewell's Directory:
Mike moved from NZ to Perth when he was 10 and started Motocross on a bike built by Ray. He then went into karting winning the 100cc West Australia Championship at 14 and the Hong Kong junior Championship in 75 & 76.

The family moved to the UK in 76 and at the end of 77 when still 16, Mike did the JRRDS course at Snetterton. He did two races at Brands in late 77 but spun in both.

In '78 he did the Dunlop Star of Tomorrow series, winning the opening round and had 10 wins, including a race at Donington beating triple FF Champion Kenny Acheson. I remember it well, I was on Kenny's Royale team!

In 79 he raced a works F3 March on a tight budget and only finished the season with help from Alan Jones. At the end of the season he did an F2 race in Japan, finishing 4th.

#10 Rob29

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 08:03

Must have been one of the quickest progresses zero to F1? FF 1978,F3 79,was in F1 with Arrows by the end of 1980.

#11 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 08:11

Emerson must still be the quickest?
FF '69, then to F3 half way through season, winning the US GP in 1970.

#12 David McKinney

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 08:59

Except that Fittipaldi had many years of Brazilian racing behind him before his first European season

#13 Tim Murray

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 09:29

And as he returned to F Ford to contest the Brazilian Torneio in early 1970, you could say that he went from FF to GP winner in the course of one season. :p

#14 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 11:37

Thanks guys...... Hong Kong champs.......NZ>Aus>HK>UK>the world.....moved about a bit didn't he?
What was the link with Alan Jones setting him up in F3........or did AJ just recognise talent when he saw it?
Jones would have been at Embassy Hill or Shadow at that time wouldn't he? or was it earlier than that....certainly wouldn't have been a millionaire able to squander thousands on any racing talent he chose......

#15 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 06:15

When Mike was doing F3 in 1979, Alan Jones was with Williams.

#16 Rob29

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 06:34

Originally posted by Andrew Kitson
Emerson must still be the quickest?
FF '69, then to F3 half way through season, winning the US GP in 1970.

I think John Surtees must still be quickest.First car race in March,2nd in British GP in July 1960.

#17 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 07:31

AJ > 1979 second season with Williams. I knew that :blush: !!

Going back to Thackwell and Formula Ford, who did Thackwell beat to the Star of tomorrow champs? Did he do other championships?
Who was his entrant/sponsor?

#18 David McKinney

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 08:10

Originally posted by Rob29
I think John Surtees must still be quickest.First car race in March,2nd in British GP in July 1960.

The British GP was certainly not his second car race - or is that not what you meant?

#19 Rob29

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 09:58

Originally posted by David McKinney

The British GP was certainly not his second car race - or is that not what you meant?

Er no,sorry just re-read that and I see your point :( He FINISHED 2nd at Silverstone-I was there my first GP!
Re;Thackwell;results of Star of Tommorrow;
1st Robert Zurrer Crossle-Minister 32F 77pts
2nd Terry Gray Royale Scholar RP21 & 24 76pts
3rd Mike Thackwell Van DiemenScholar RF78 72pts
4th Tim Davies Royale Scholar RP24 65pts
5th Roger White Royale Minister RP24 64pts
6th Richard Oldworth Crossle Auriga 32F 37pts

He seems to have had a go at all 4 of the national FF series running that year!

I have at least one photo somewhere but am having trouble finding 78 ones.Will try again later this week. Too busy today.F1,IRL,DTM,EuroF3,WTCC all on TV!

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#20 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 13:04

Tim Davies did well later IIRC on but I can't say that any of the others Mike beat in his firrst year set the world alight,
What about the other current FF championships how did he do in them and who was he competing against?

#21 David McKinney

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 14:33

If Rob's SoT list had gone down to 7th you would also have got Thierry Tassin ;)
Thackwell was also 5th in the RAC Championship, sharing the place with Roberto Guerrero and Trevor Templeton; Kenny Acheson won that series from Michael Roe, Bernard Devaney and Peter Morgan.
Acheson also won the Philips Car Radio series, from David McClelland, David Sears, Devaney, James Weaver, Roe and Thackwell (with Jonathan Palmer 9th)
Thackwell didn't make the top placings in the Townsend Thoresen (Acheson-Roe-McClelland), Esso (Morgan-Jim Walsh-Devaney) or Kent Messenger (Terry Gray-Colin Lees-Kim Perry) series

#22 Mallory Dan

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 11:46

The reason he 'only' finished 3rd in the Dunlop SoT series was that from about mid-78 he concentrated more on the 'senior' FF series. So I suggest he was much more interested in making a name for himself and winning races, than concentrating on any particular championship.

Have to say I never took to Thackwell, he seemed to me rather cocky as a youngster, and had things rather too easy early on - tho' thats probably just me!!!

Of the others in that list, I thought Terry Gray should have gone much further than he did, he didn't seem to have the right connections of others though, eg Coulthard as posted on another thread, and again, one I've never warmed too.

#23 Rob29

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 11:48

Photo found ;unfortunately these are on Kodachrome slides-anyone know a way of copying these on to PC?

#24 Cirrus

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 15:21

Photo found ;unfortunately these are on Kodachrome slides-anyone know a way of copying these on to PC?



You'll need a dedicated transparency scanner (expensive) or one of the more modestly priced flatbed scanners with a transparency attachment (basically a light in the scanner lid which follows the scan head and shines through the slide). The results should be suitably rewarding, though.

#25 Chris Townsend

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 15:27

Michael Eastick of Scorpion was Mike Thackwell's personal manager in 1978 [at a time when "personal managers" were a bit of
a novelty below F1, let alone in FF!] I don't know if this set-up lasted the switch to Dennis Rushen's operation.
Clearly in FF Thackwell was very well funded. A one off race with Rushen Green cost up to three times what some race hire
operations charged, and about double Scorpion's rates.

Someone in the setup could obviously do publicity though. When he had a big collision with Rob Zurrer's Crossle at Brands
the photo of a barrell-rolling Van Diemen made a half-page in the Daily Express.

Chris

#26 Mallory Dan

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 12:35

Just checked, and my memory was correct, Andrew! He was run, later on in 78, by Rushen Green. I see now why Chris says they charged more than similar outfits, the cars were very well turned out for the time, and always seemed to be in MN/Asport of the period.

Perhaps its true to say they were one of the outfits who started the decline in 'National/Club' racing, by being too professional, and starting to price out the genuine amateurs. Though thats another issue altogether I guess !!

#27 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 12:50

I blame it on carbon fibre, not the teams. Every Tom, Dick & Harry could weld or bend a bit of tin in their shed or workshop or repair GRP cheaply. Having an autoclave is a totally different and expensive thing.

Plus the one-make brigade over the past years, the Formula Vauxhalls, F. Renaults, F.BMWS and Palmer Audi. Without them Formula Ford ( still spaceframes) would be booming!

#28 Chris Townsend

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 14:42

Rushen Green's cars were beautifully prepared, which in FF could make a lot of difference - though a quick motor was probably worth a whole lot more. In 1980, if my memory serves me, a Rushen Green drive was over a grand a race [new Royale RP26] whilst in 1982 you could still get a year old Royale RP29 with a very competent team for £350.

I don't blame carbon-fibre, I blame the pressures of winning. When Gugelmin came over he went tyre testing at every British circuit, once or twice a week. Van Diemen's tyre bill was probably more than Julian Bailey spent in the whole year. I think it was 1984 when Blundell spent 90k on a season of FF - which a few years before would have put you near the front of the F3 field. No carbon fibre, no hi tech, just a spare car, engines, tyres and lots and lots of testing.

Do, however, agree about the diffusion of F.Ford by one-make formulae - partly a result of confusion over Ford's future when the Kent engine went out?

Chris

#29 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 08 July 2006 - 23:38

Is there a picture archive that is likely to have Formula Ford and Formula Three images from around this time? I would love to see that shot of Thackwell in the air that appeared in the newspapers

#30 alfabrera

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 08:45

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Rob29
[B]Thackwell ran a red Van Diemen-Scholar RF78 in his first season in 'Star of Tommorow' championship for novices 1978.
Brands GP 1st+FL
Brands ? +FL
Donington 1st
Snetterton Crashed:

Here's the reason he crashed at Snetterton:

http://alfabrera2008...-full;init:.jpg

From Autosport magazine.....
First corner collision between Mike Thackwell and Mark Lippiatt - Thackwell closed the door only to find Lippiatt there and the result was a tyre mark left on Thackwell's crash helmet. Lucky boy indeed! The crash all but ended Lippiatt's season I believe but Thackwell went on to finish 2nd in the championship.

#31 alfabrera

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 08:47

Posted Image

#32 Rapid Rupert

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 21:38

On the subject of Formula Ford in the 70's, I'm trying to re-create points tables for various national and regional championships. Whilst I already have a lot of information, there are missing pieces of data that I need.

Seeing as though this thread kicked off on 1978 and Mike Thackwell competing in the DSOT championship, I will start with this series.

If anyone has got a copy of the final points table they could share, that would be ideal otherwise I need the following finishing positions:

Round 3 Donington - 8th to 10th inclusive
Round 4 Snetterton - 7th to 10th inclusive + fastest lap
Round 5 Mallory Park - as above
Round 6 Castle Combe - as above
Round 7 Croft - as above
Round 8 Mallory Park - as above
Round 10 Cadwell Park - 8th to 10th inclusive
Round 11 Brands Hatch - as above

Here's hoping......

:) :) :) :)

#33 Rob29

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 09:50

7th Thierry Tassin VanDiemen Scholar RF78-32pts
8th John Davis Crossle-Minister 32F-31pts
9th Almo Coppelli Tiga CES-26pts
10th Philippe Goffin VanDiemen-Scholar RF78-25pts
best I can do.Only first 6 recorded after first round :)

#34 Alan Cox

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 10:51

Posted Image
Posted Image
Thackwell harried by Bernard Devaney Old Hall Corner, Oulton Park, 1978

Posted Image
Mike in 1979 during his F3 year

#35 Rapid Rupert

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 17:46

Thank you Rob 29 for your post

Most of my info does come from either magazine material or from race results I picked up at the time

Does anyone else have data, (results, champ table?)

#36 Rapid Rupert

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 14:21

Can anyone supply me with the top 6 result of the Townsend Thoresen FF1600 race held at Brands Hatch on 18 August 1974 to enable me to re-create my (unofficial) points table. Better still if someone out there has the real article (offical points table), please could they post it as that would be even better.

Fingers crossed.... :wave: :wave: :wave:

#37 Rob29

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 17:41

Originally posted by Rapid Rupert
Can anyone supply me with the top 6 result of the Townsend Thoresen FF1600 race held at Brands Hatch on 18 August 1974 to enable me to re-create my (unofficial) points table. Better still if someone out there has the real article (offical points table), please could they post it as that would be even better.

Fingers crossed.... :wave: :wave: :wave:


1st Roy Klomfass Hawke-Lloyd DL11
2nd Rupert Keegan Hawke-Titan DL11
3rd Mike Blanchet Lotus-Ansell 61M
4th Ric Morris Hawke-Scholar DL11
5th Rob Wicken Merlyn-Minister Mk17A
6th Tim Brise Elden-Scholar Mk10C

Re PM sorry Bob no luck with '71 -seem to have only recorded Tiff Needell's results that year :eek:

#38 Rapid Rupert

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 17:09

Thanks Rob for posting this result.

If my fading/aging memory is correct, wasn't Rob Wicken removed from the championship points table for some reason?

:confused:

#39 Rapid Rupert

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 18:56

OK fellow TNF'ers.

I've moved on to 1977 in my quest to re-create Formula Ford final points tables. Unfortunately this was the first year that the majority of championships decided to award points to the top ten finishers. Previously only the top 6 scored points.

Now whilst I have scoured the weekly mags, generally they only printed the top 6 finishers. So with the few race day programmes I've acquired and a bit of detective work, I've filled in some of the missing information, but not enough to complete the task.

So, what am I after?

Scans of race results,
Programmes where race results have been entered
Points tables from programmes
or dare I say it
Any points tables. Even better, the end of year version on a round by round basis would be the "holy grail",


Which championships?

1977 Townsend Thoresen FF1600
1977 BARC FF1600
1977 RAC FF1600
1977 Kent Messenger FF1600 (Brands Hatch based series)
1977 Brush Fusegear FF1600
1977 Dunlop/Autosport Star of Tomorrow FF1600
1977 BAF Air Ferries FF2000
1977 Lords Taveners FF2000

Hopefully there are a lot of fellow FF fans out there that can help me. Surely I'm not alone, or am I?

:D :D :D