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Silverstone Classic to mark 50 years of Formula Ford

Published 28 November 2016

The 50th anniversary of Formula Ford will be celebrated at this year’s Silverstone Classic in July. Formula Ford is widely thought of as one of the world’s best proving grounds for future F1 champions and its achievements will be marked at the Silverstone event on 28-30 July.

It’s the first time the entry-level single-seaters have featured on the Classic bill since 2013 and a pair of full-capacity 54-car grids are expected to serve up a feast of close and exciting racing – a hallmark of the junior formula since it was introduced in July 1967.

Back then, the combination of low-cost, lightweight tubular chassis powered by a 1600cc Ford Cortina GT engine made an immediate impact both with rival constructors and the next generation of young drivers eager to impress.

Formula Ford became the first stepping-stone in the early careers of many prospective Formula One drivers. World Champions such as James Hunt, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jody Scheckter, Nelson Piquet, Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill and Jenson Button all raced in Formula Ford.

50 Years Of Formula Ford Will Be Celebrated At The 2017 Silverstione Classic (1)

Over the past 50 years, Silverstone has witnessed hundreds of Formula Ford showdowns. Next summer, the Classic will recreate some of those memorable battles when Historic Formula Fords will be among the many on-track highlights.

Nick Wigley, CEO of event organiser Goose Live Events, said, ‘We are thrilled to be bringing Formula Ford back to the Classic in 2017 for what will be its biggest 50th anniversary celebration,” said Nick Wigley, CEO of event organiser Goose Live Events.

Wigley said, ‘Formula Ford has played such a major role, in both global motor sport history and the careers of just about every young racing driver, that it has earned its place in history. What’s more, it’s going to be another real crowd-pleaser, with lots of incredible wheel-to-wheel action – something for which Formula Ford racing has always been renowned.’

The two Formula Ford showdowns will line-up alongside those races already confirmed on the 2017 Silverstone Classic bill: Group C prototypes, FIA Masters Historic Formula One and FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars, the International Trophy for Classic GT Cars (pre-1966), and the Stirling Moss Trophy for pre-1961 Sportscars.

50 Years Of Formula Ford Will Be Celebrated At The 2017 Silverstione Classic (2)

Other races include the Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy for pre-1956 Sportscars, the JET Super Touring Car Trophy; the Maserati Trophy for HGPCA pre-1966 Grand Prix Cars, and the recently announced HRDC Austin A35 Celebrity Race.

The organisers have also announced the return of the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars (pre-1963 GT), Under 2-Litre Touring Cars and Formula Junior to next year’s race programme with more exciting races still to be announced.

The Formula Ford contests will be staged across both Saturday and Sunday and will star cars built and raced before 1972, as featured in the HSCC’s popular Historic FF1600 Championship. 

Grahame White, CEO of the HSCC, said, ‘These are cars from the glorious early years of Formula Ford and they never fail to deliver timeless and thrilling single-seater racing.’

White added, ‘Even though we are permitted to start grids of 54 cars on the full Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, we are still expecting to be over-subscribed, such will be the demand to be part of these wonderful races to acclaim 50 years of famed Formula Ford.’

Early Bird tickets for the 2017 Silverstone Classic are now on sale with prices for adults starting from £35 and the cost of the three-day weekend ticket remaining at £99. Details of all 2017 ticket prices, as well as hospitality and camping options are now available on the silverstoneclassic.com website.

Silverstone Classic

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