Big en­try for Na­tional FF1600 at Sil­ver­stone

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

Or­gan­is­ers of the Na­tional For­mula Ford 1600 Cham­pi­onship are con­fi­dent of re­tain­ing big grids all sea­son af­ter the se­ries’ first stand­alone round at Sil­ver­stone this week­end at­tracted the big­gest en­try in re­cent years.

As MN closed for press, 31 cars had signed up for the dou­ble­header on the Sil­ver­stone In­ter­na­tional lay­out, al­most dou­ble the en­try for the cor­re­spond­ing fix­ture last sea­son.

The cham­pi­onship has en­joyed an surge in in­ter­est this year af­ter a new part­ner­ship with the Mazda Road to Indy scheme, which will al­low the cham­pion into a global shootout to win a fully funded sin­gle-seater sea­son in Amer­ica in 2017.

While the open­ing round of the se­ries at Oul­ton Park boasted a 27-car grid, en­tries were mixed with the lo­cal North­ern Cham­pi­onship.

“To have so many cars for the first stand­alone Na­tional round was so im­por­tant,” said lead­ing team boss Cliff Dempsey. “With the huge Mazda Road to Indy prize we would have been dis­ap­pointed not to have 30 cars at a track like Sil­ver­stone.

“The prize has helped give the cham­pi­onship some im­pe­tus and has brought a lot of young blood into the class again. I reckon we’re look­ing at this type of en­try for all the rounds this year.”

Only driv­ers aged 25 and un­der are el­i­gi­ble for the Mazda Road to Indy prize. Some more se­nior rac­ers in the se­ries have sug­gested more could be done to re­tain those driv­ers. Rob Hall raced at Oul­ton, but won’t do the whole sea­son as he fo­cuses on the Wal­ter Hayes Tro­phy and Brands Hatch Fes­ti­val con­tests in­stead.

Hall said: “There should be more prizes, such as the en­try fee for the fol­low­ing sea­son to the cham­pion, to en­cour­age them to come back and de­fend the ti­tle.”

Na­tional FF1600 has a healthy grid for Sil­ver­stone races

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