Home Formula FordNational FF1600 National FFord to support British F3 this year for first time since 2011

National FFord to support British F3 this year for first time since 2011

by Ida Wood

Photo: Elliot Wood

The latest BRDC British Formula 3 calendar update has resulted in the series joining up with BRSCC National Formula Ford 1600 at Oulton Park, much to the delight of FF1600 teams.

British FFord originally ran using the 1600cc Kent engines National FF1600 is based around today, before it switched to Zetec, Duratec and then EcoBoost engines until its demise at the end of 2014 when it was succeeded by British Formula 4.

The ‘National FFord Race Day’, a long-running one-day meeting at Oulton Park for FF1600 cars, takes place on September 11. The day before will be dedicated to testing, and British GT and F3 crews will remain at the circuit to race on September 12.

“Great news that BRSCC Formula Ford 1600 will be supporting British GT at Oulton Park in September,” said Kevin Mills Racing, which ran Neil Maclennan to the 2020 National FF1600 title.

B-M Racing’s Andy Brickles added: “[On] our revised National championship calendar, we had to drop a round in March but still looks a healthy championship. Let’s hope for no more surprises!”

Low Dempsey Racing team owner Andy Low said to Formula Scout: “It’s brilliant for FF1600 to be supporting British GT/F3 at Oulton Park. I think it will be great for raising the profile of FFord and all of the fantastic drivers we have.”

National FF1600’s 2021 season opener on Silverstone’s International layout in March has been called off as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, while Scottish FFord has postponed the entirety of its six-round season.

The FFord Festival has also been pushed back a week after TOCA, which features the British Touring Car Championship and British F4 on its race weekends, took its planned October date.

British F4’s BTCC support slot was first occupied by its predecessor British FFord in 2013. Before that, the championship had supported British GT and the joint BARC/BRDC-run British F3 series that ended after 2014.

Champion of Brands FF1600 was on British F3’s support bill at Brands Hatch in 2012, ’13 and ’14 – and with the revived BRDC British F3 last year.

The last time a national championship for FF1600 cars shared a paddock with British F3 was in 2011, when Scott Malvern claimed the British FFord title using a Duratec engine.

For Kent-fitted cars, it was another two years before that when Rory Butcher – now a BTCC driver for Toyota – won both of the supporting Scottish FFord races at Knockhill.

Kevin Mills Racing has signed British karting star Lucas Romanek for National FF1600 this year, and B-M Racing has retained its Festival winner Rory Smith for select rounds as well as a defence of his Festival crown.

Scottish squad Graham Brunton Racing plans to compete in National FF1600 full-time, while teenager Maxwell Esterson – who finished fifth in the United States’ F1600 Championship Series last year – is eyeing a move into the series.