Famous race drivers including Jenson Button, Eddie Irvine and the late great Ayrton Senna have Ford to thank for successful Formula 1 careers. This coming weekend (2-3 April) sees the return of the Ford MSA Formula powered by Ford EcoBoost and set of talented 15 year old drivers wanting to emulate the success for their heroes. Over the year, the teams run as part of the British Touring Car Championship to 10 circuits all across the UK. Each meeting consists of 3 races and has full TV coverage on ITV.
The car is powered by Ford’s UK built 1.6l EcoBoost unit, generating 160PS, similar to the engine in the Fiesta ST. This engine gives great performance and also allows the teams to keep costs low; the total ready to race price of the car including the lease of the engines is less than £32,000. The successful teams in the series can benefit from a £30,000 prize fund, allowing them to claim back a majority of the car price. Each of the MSA Formula cars must include an FIA homologated carbon monocoque, 6-speed sequential gearbox with paddle shift, 2-piston brake callipers, double wishbones suspension and pushrods, twin adjustable dampers and a adjustable anti-roll bar. The regulations also mean all the cars are quite similar to each other, this demonstrating the driver’s abilities and showing who are the best.
In addition to the experience gained from driving a single seater race car, the top 7 finishers are awarded points towards their FIA Super Licence, this giving the youngsters an ideal advantage towards furthering their careers.