Engine not decided for new Formula Ford

A final decision is yet to be made on what engine will power the proposed new-spec Australian Formula Ford.

Engine not decided for new Formula Ford
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Motorsport Australia last week announced an ambitious plan to introduce a new-spec Formula Ford to the national championship in 2024.

The new cars will be open to multiple manufacturers to build and will be underpinned by a traditional space frame, but with beefed up safety structures. They include a halo, side and rear crash structures and wheel tethers.

What was missing from the announcement was what will power the new cars.

The announcement did claim the new cars will around a second per lap faster than the existing hardware which, given the inevitable rise in weight from the crash structures, means the current 1.6-litre Duratec engine won't be able to be carried over as is.

According to some insiders it could take as much as 170 horsepower to offset the additional weight which means an all-new engine is likely.

Motorsport Australia told Motorsport.com that discussions around the engine package are ongoing as the new rules come together.

"We are trying to keep the weight gain on the new car as low as possible, but we do realise that the new car will be slightly heavier than the current Duratec Formula Ford," a spokesperson said.

"Understanding this, we do know that the new engine will have to be more powerful than the current engine, and this has been factored in.

"The actual decision on which engine to go for has not happened yet, and will be made once we get the chassis design and vehicle requirements nailed down."

That could influence what transmission is used in the new cars as well, with no firm guarantee that a paddle shift system won't be introduced.

Moving away from a mechanical stick shift would put the category at an immediate disadvantage to its direct rival, the Toyota 86 Racing Series, given Supercars is sticking with its three-pedal system for the foreseeable future.

The new-spec Formula Fords will be eligible from 2024 onwards, however the existing cars will also be eligible until at least 2027.

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