The Australian Formula Ford Series will return to the Supercars support card for the first time in three years next season, with a one-off appearance at the Winton SuperSprint part of a six-round calendar.
The Winton SuperSprint will be Formula Ford’s jewel in the crown next season, with the races to be broadcast live on Fox Sports across the weekend.
With Winton to be the feature race of the season, the remainder of the calendar will be squarely focused on creating close, cost-effective racing.
The season will begin at Sandown in early March at a Victorian state meeting, with round two on the first weekend of April at Wakefield Park. The Winton SuperSprint follows in the middle of May, before a to-be-confirmed round at Queensland Raceway, a New South Wales state series outing at Sydney Motorsport Park in the middle of September, and the season finale at the world-renowned Phillip Island circuit at the very beginning of October.
The earlier finish will give the series winner the best possible chance to prepare for the $200,000 Mazda Road to Indy Shootout in the USA, with the relationship between the MRTI program and the Australian Formula Ford Series set to continue.
The 2017 schedule will not feature any Shannon’s Nationals rounds, with the move to a more state-level based calendar set to help contain costs and make Formula Ford as affordable as ever.
Three of the rounds will form the National Series for Kent-powered Formula Ford 1600 cars, with the Winton SuperSprint, Queensland Raceway, and Sydney Motorsport Park rounds contributing to the points score.
“We couldn’t be happier with our calendar for 2017,” said Formula Ford Association Chairman John van Leeuwen.
“Our focus has been on close racing and packed grids, and the cost-effective shift towards state-level meetings paid off greatly in 2016. It’s a path we’ll continue to take for 2017, with the clear expectation of exceeding the 49 competitors that we had come through our National Series this season.
“While our focus is on low-costs and close racing, it’s also a thrill to have our feature race meeting at the Winton SuperSprint. In terms of grid size and great wheel-to-wheel racing we feel our product is pretty hard to beat in open-wheeler terms, so the opportunity to showcase that to a large crowd and TV audience is something that all our competitors should be very excited about.”
“The shift to a condensed Formula Ford 1600 series is exciting for us as well. We’d love to see more Kent-powered cars on the grid, and we’re expecting strong fields to really spice up those Winton, Queensland Raceway, and Sydney Motorsport Park rounds.”
The Australian Formula Ford Series would like to thank its partners, Yokohama, Ferodo, Castrol, Bob Jane T Marts, Road to Indy and Shiners Car Wash Systems for their generous support in 2016.
2017 Australian Formula Ford National Series Calendar
3-5 March Sandown Raceway (VIC State)
31 March-2 April Wakefield Park (NSW State)
19-21 May Winton SuperSprint (Supercars)*
TBA Queensland Raceway*
15-17 September Sydney Motorsport Park (NSW State)*
29 September-1 October Phillip Island (Vic State)
*Points-scoring rounds for the National Formula Ford 1600 Series