Formula Ford Festival

The Formula Ford Festival is an annual meeting of Ford powered single seat racing cars which is held at the end of the British racing season, at the Brands Hatch motor racing circuit in the county of Kent, in Southern England. The events are held over the course of a weekend and although various classes of past and present Formula Fords are present, the high point for many is the championship in which young but skilled drivers from Ford competitions in Europe and beyond race against one another. Often it is a rare chance to compare the skills of drivers who take part in different Ford competitions across the world. Many winners of the festival have gone on to enjoy professional careers in various branches of motorsport - including fourteen who have raced in Formula One.

Formula Ford Festival
Brands Hatch.svg
Brands Hatch: the current host of the Festival
CategorySingle seaters
(Formula Ford)
Country United Kingdom
Inaugural season1972
Engine suppliersFord Duratec engine
Ford Zetec engine
Ford Kent engine
Drivers' championUnited Kingdom Josh Smith
Constructors' championUnited Kingdom Van Diemen JL13
Official websiteFormula Ford Festival

The event is administered by the British Racing and Sports Car Club.[1]



The inaugural season in 1972 took place at Snetterton, where the festival was held until 1975. It then moved to Brands Hatch where it has stayed to date.

The Kent yearsEdit

The Kent engine was the lead engine in early Formula Ford, and so from the first festival in 1972 until the Zetec was introduced in 1993.

The Zetec yearsEdit

The Zetec engine was the leading engine from 1993 until the Duratec took over in 2006.

The Duratec engineEdit

The 1600 c.c. Duratec engine is currently used in the leading races although the Zetec and Kent engines are still used in junior and classic classes of racing.[2]

Loss of prominenceEdit

For many years the festival was the highlight of the Formula Ford season. Entries of several hundred cars from all over the Formula Ford world were common into the 1990s, with racers competing in knockout heats to decide the grid for a grand final. Entries have been declining and recent Festivals have struggled to attract more than 40-50 cars, enough for two heats and a final. Support races from other classes e.g. Caterham, Club F3 and Historic Sports 2000 have also been included in the program. This is because although the event still has the atmosphere of past years its position as a rite of passage for young drivers has largely been usurped by other junior formulae and karting.

More "historic" FF1600 cars have been turning up for the supporting races than contemporary Zetecs, however in 2006 the Festival saw the Duratec engine for the first time thereby having a final for all 3 marques at one meeting for the first time. The Walter Hayes Trophy now recognises the continuing interest in 1600cc 'Kent' Formula Ford and attracted over 150 entries in 2006, including several drivers more commonly seen in much more senior formulae, including current two-time Nippon Telegraph and Telephone IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden, who won the 2008 Kent class, the most recent prominent champion to have raced in this festival.


Below is a list of overall festival winners.[1] Since 1993, a secondary festival was run in alongside for older specification cars running the Ford Kent engine. Since 2009, a third event has also been held for cars using the Ford Zetec engine.

* denotes later raced in Formula One

Year Circuit Overall Festival Winner Kent Festival Zetec Festival
Driver Chassis Engine Driver Chassis Driver Chassis
1972 Snetterton   Ian Taylor Dulon LD9 Ford Kent engine Not Held Not Held
1973   Donald Macleod Van Diemen FA73
1974   Richard Morgan Crossle 25F
1975   Geoff Lees * Royale RP21
1976 Brands Hatch   Derek Daly * Hawke DL17
1977   Chico Serra * Van Diemen RF77
1978   Michael Roe Van Diemen RF78
1979   Donald Macleod Sark 1
1980   Roberto Moreno * Van Diemen RF80
1981   Tommy Byrne * Van Diemen RF81
1982   Julian Bailey * Lola T640E
1983   Andrew Gilbert-Scott Reynard 83F
1984   Gerrit van Kouwen Lola T644E
1985   Johnny Herbert * Quest FF85
1986   Roland Ratzenberger * Van Diemen RF86
1987   Eddie Irvine * Van Diemen RF87
1988   Vincenzo Sospiri * Van Diemen RF88
1989   Niko Palhares Van Diemen RF89
1990   Dave Coyne Swift FB90
1991   Marc Goossens Van Diemen RF91
1992   Jan Magnussen * Van Diemen RF92
1993   Russell Ingall Van Diemen RF93 Ford Zetec engine   Andrew MacAuley Reynard 92FF
1994   Jason Watt Vector TF94   Gavin Wills Swift SC92F
1995   Kevin McGarrity Van Diemen RF95   Topi Serjala Swift SC95F
1996   Mark Webber * Van Diemen RF96   Mark Marchant Jamun M96
1997   Jacky van der Ende Van Diemen RF97 Not Held
1998   Jenson Button * Mygale SJ98
1999   Ricardo van der Ende Van Diemen RF99
2000   Anthony Davidson * Mygale SJ00
2001   Alan van der Merwe Mygale SJ01
2002   Jan Heylen Van Diemen RF02   Dave Fricker Reynard 89FF
2003   Joey Foster Van Diemen RF03   Matthew Gilmore Van Diemen RF92
2004   Dan Clarke Van Diemen RF04   Joey Foster Reynard 89FF
2005   Duncan Tappy Mygale SJ04   Gavin Wills Van Diemen RF00
2006   Richard Tannahill Van Diemen RF06 Ford Duratec engine   Noel Dunne Van Diemen RF92
2007   Nick Tandy Ray GRS07   Keith Dempsey Ray GRS07
2008   Wayne Boyd Mygale SJ08   Josef Newgarden Ray GRS08
2009   Chrissy Palmer Mygale SJ09   Rory Butcher Van Diemen RF90   Neil Tofts Mygale SJ04
2010   Dennis Lind Van Diemen LA08   Neville Smyth Ray GRS09   Julian Hoskins Vector TF93
2011   Scott Malvern Mygale SJ10   Ivor McCullough Van Diemen RF00   Neil Tofts Mygale SJ04
2012   Antti Buri Mygale SJ11   Ivor McCullough Van Diemen RF00   Xavier Michel Van Diemen
Year Circuit Overall Festival Winner - Kent Duratec Festival Zetec Festival
Driver Chassis Engine Builder Driver Chassis Driver Chassis
2013 Brands Hatch   Niall Murray Van Diemen RF99 MCP   Bart van Os Mygale SJ10   Julian Hoskins Vector TF93
Year Circuit Overall Festival Winner - Kent Duratec-Zetec Festival
Driver Chassis Engine Builder Driver Chassis
2014 Brands Hatch   James Raven Ray GR13/14 Bold   Thomas Craincourt Mygale Duratec
Year Circuit Overall Festival Winner - Kent Pre-1990 Winner Pre-1982 Winner
Driver Chassis Engine Builder Driver Chassis Driver Chassis
2015 Brands Hatch   Wayne Boyd Van Diemen MS13K Bold   Matthew Cowley Reynard FF88   Stuart Kestenbaum Van Diemen RF79
2016   Niall Murray Van Diemen RF99 MCP   Job van Uitert Van Diemen RF89
2017   Joey Foster Ray GR08 Bold
2018   Joshua Smith Van Diemen JL13 Barnett

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "ROLL OF HONOU" (PDF). BRSCC. BRSCC. Retrieved 30 October 2012.

External linksEdit