The New Zealand Formula Ford Championship will race in both the North and South Island next season, with the series set to return to the Speedworks line-up once again.
This year’s championship was reduced to just three rounds amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Two rounds have already been staged in the North Island at Auckland Car Club meetings. The season concludes in Christchurch at the Formula Ford Festival in May.
However, a report on the New Zealand Formula Ford website has confirmed plans are firming up to see the series return to a six-round calendar running between November 2021 and March 2022.
According to the report, the New Zealand Formula Ford championship will likely return to running alongside the Speedworks Events schedule.
Speedworks Events already facilitate and promote other MotorSport New Zealand Championship classes, such as the Best Bars Toyota 86 series.
Managing Director of Speedworks Events, Geoff Short, says he is “fully supportive of a good national Formula Ford Championship” and is happy to work with New Zealand Formula Ford to organise a calendar for the season ahead.
A return to working with Speedworks should mean the New Zealand Formula Ford championship visits more circuits across the country and give the series more high-profile media coverage.
Smith seeking return
Kiwi motor racing legend Kenny Smith, who has supported and mentored several Formula Ford talents over his career, has said he plans to return to racing in the category.
He took part in a handful of races during the 2019/20 season.
“I’m 90 per cent [certain I am] going to do the Championship again this year,” Smith said. “I’ve made up my mind I’d better do that. I’ve been second so many times. I lost it by a point, lost it by two points.
“It is an absolute must that kids go through Formula Ford. Look at all the guys who have gone somewhere – not only Scott [Dixon] and Shane [van Gisbergen] but also Hartley, Bamber, the Evans boys, Coulthard Heimgartner, now Armstrong and Lawson and the list goes on.
“Look at all the good karters coming on now, we’ll run out of cars before we run out of drivers at the moment; and they need to run at high-profile events.”
Young Auckland ace Matthew McCutcheon currently leads the 2021 season over James Penrose ahead of the finale in Christchurch on May 1.
The winner of the series will receive a test in a Toyota Racing Series car as part of their prize package.
The final round of the championship also has a separate ‘Driver to Europe’ award for the victor of the day’s feature race. The winning driver will head to the UK and participate in the 50th running of the world-famous Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch.