The Formula Ford Association and the Australian Formula Ford Series applaud any work undertaken by CAMS that improves safety in Australian motorsport at any level, including the very top.
The concept of a Superlicence system to ensure that drivers coming into Supercars, Australia’s premier motor racing category, are up to the task is one that the Formula Ford Association is in full support of.
However, the Australian Formula Ford Series’ omission from the system is baffling.
For five decades Formula Ford has played an integral part in the proper development of young motor racing talent in Australia. Formula Ford, at both state and national level, has been a safe, reliable, and competitive stepping stone from karting to professional motor racing.
During its time in Australia, Formula Ford has proven that its top alumni can make the step up straight to the professional ranks. Some do, some choose to add the likes of Carrera Cup or the Dunlop Series to their personal ladder. Either way, that Formula Ford’s successful National Series would be ignored by CAMS makes very little sense from a safety and/or development viewpoint.
The Formula Ford Association firmly believes that, with its regular 20-plus grids and unrivalled close racing, that the Australian Formula Ford Series is worthy of the same ranking as any open-wheeler category in this country. Instead, it has been left out completely.
While we understand that CAMS doesn’t recognise our National Series as a ‘Championship’, there are series from New Zealand, also not CAMS Championships, that have been included in the Superlicence structure.
Our sincere hope is that the decision wasn’t made to hold back our flourishing Australian Formula Ford Series and/or try and limit the enviable market share of young talent that currently competes in it. That, we believe, would be an unjust use of what has the potential to be a great system for Supercars and Australian motorsport.
It’s important to note three things. Firstly, the omission of our National Series from the Superlicence structure in no way affects our commitment to running the Australian Formula Ford Series and providing what is still clearly recognised as the best stepping stone from karting to cars in the country.
Secondly, it does not diminish the Australian Formula Ford’s place in the motor racing landscape. Sufficient Superlicence points can still be scored through our category to make it worthwhile step in the development ladder. Combine that with our increased grids and excellent value for money, Formula Ford will continue to be a crucial part of contemporary Australian motorsport.
Finally, last weekend’s Bathurst winner Will Davison is a former Australian Formula Ford Champion. Shane van Gisbergen, who finished second, is a former New Zealand Formula Ford Champion. Nick Percat and Cameron McConville, who combined to finish third at Bathurst, are both former Australian Formula Ford Champions.
In fact, the Top 13 entries in the final Bathurst results all had at least one former Australian Formula Ford competitor as part of the driving line-up. And 14 of the Australian Formula Ford Champions since 1992 were on the grid.
Formula Ford continues to the place that great drivers begin their careers.