FORD CEL­E­BRA­TION STARTS 50th YEAR

Fa­mous cars and stars gather in Birm­ing­ham

Motor Sport News - - Historics - By Paul Lawrence Pho­tos: Paul Lawrence and LAT

Derek War­wick, Nick Tandy and Martin Don­nelly were some of the star driv­ers who helped kick off the 50th an­niver­sary sea­son of For­mula Ford dur­ing the Au­tosport In­ter­na­tional show at the NEC.

Driv­ers from across five decades of the cat­e­gory gath­ered at the HSCC stand where the club staged a dis­play of iconic For­mula Ford cars. The eight cars on show in­cluded those raced in pe­riod by Jody Scheck­ter (Mer­lyn Mk11) and Michael Schu­macher (Van Diemen RF88).

Join­ing War­wick, Tandy and Don­nelly were FF1600 aces like John Vil­lage, Rick Mor­ris, Jim Walsh, Bernard Dolan, Roger Pedrick, Ed Moore and Gra­hame Til­ley along with Ray Allen, win­ner of the first For­mula Ford race in July 1967.

Rep­re­sent­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers were Alan Cornock (Royale) and How­den Gan­ley (Tiga) and a num­ber of race engi­neers and en­gine builders were also on hand. F1 de­signer Pat Sy­monds re­called his early de­sign ca­reer cre­at­ing cars for Royale.

Among those on show were Nigel Mansell’s orig­i­nal car.

War­wick, a lead­ing con­tender in the 1976 sea­son, re­mem­bered just how good For­mula Ford was in the pe­riod. “In 1976, I raced in 63 races and won 32,” he said. “We ran it very cheaply and we were just am­a­teurs at that stage. The rac­ing was phe­nom­e­nal.”

Le Mans win­ner Nick Tandy said that the cat­e­gory had been a pivotal part of his ca­reer. “I loved my time in For­mula Ford and I’m proud that I’m part of the For­mula Ford his­tory.”

Nigel Mansell’s car was among the stars

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