Andrew Horne

Andrew Horne

The 2014 Midas Historic Formula Ford (Kent ) Championship gets underway at Midvaal Raceway in Meyerton on 15 March.

Formula Ford began way back in 1967 when Brands Hatch boss John Webb saw the need for a robust single seater race school car that offered the feel of a Formula Junior but at a fraction of the cost. This spawned the most successful formula imaginable and in 1972 Emerson Fittipaldi became the first Formula Ford graduate to win the World Formula 1 championship.

The first cars used the ‘pre-crossflow’ 1500cc Ford engine as fitted to the Cortina GT and Webb was able to convince Ford to supply 54 Cortina GT engines at £50 each. The first batch of cars were Lotus chassis with Renault gearboxes but that proved troublesome and the more expensive Hewland with interchangeable ratios was fitted in the next batch of cars.  In 1968 the pre-crossflow engine was replaced by the ubiquitous crossflow Kent version which powered Formula Fords at national championship level in South Africa until 1998 when Johan Fourie claimed the crown. In Australia the Kent engine carried on until the end of 2005.

Despite the Kent engine being replaced by the Zetec, Kent Formula Ford series around the world refused to die and are as popular as ever thanks to a wide range of chassis. It has proved so popular that Ford put the Kent block back into production in 2010 specifically to supply the historic racing community with spares.

The Midas Historic Formula Ford Kent series is a Northern Regions Championship and is known for its close racing. Last year it was single seater veteran Ian Schofield who emerged as champion in the Investchem Reynard, 19-points ahead of Andrew Horne (Royale RP31) and former champion Matthys Strydom (Talon) but the races were much closer than the final points table suggests.

With an entry of over 20 cars, betting on a winner of the Historic Formula Ford races isn’t something a sober (or sane) man would do.

Last season’s top six

1 Ian Schofield 107
2 Andrew Horne 88
3 Matthys Strydom 63
4 Graham Hepburn 34
5 Ben vd Westhuizen 34
6 Allen Meyer 28