Formula Open New Zealand (FONZ) is preparing for its biggest season to date as the series continues to attract new entries and heads to new venues.
A six-round series begins in November at the MG Classic from Manfeild.
From there, the wings-and-slicks class heads to the Skope Classic in Ruapuna and the Mobil 1 Festival at Teretonga.
Having two rounds in the South Island comes from the category’s success at this year’s Skope Classic, which had a 20-plus field.
FONZ was started in 2019 by John Tomlin and Ken Smith.
The primary idea of FONZ is to provide a platform for drivers to race older single-seater cars that would otherwise be gathering dust in garages.
It also acts as an ideal category for young drivers wanting a domestic single-seater experience who might not have the budget to race overseas.
The series’ core remains any pre-2015 wings-and-slicks open-wheel cars running in the same configuration and specification they originally raced.
Cars catered for include FT50 and FT40 Toyota Racing Series cars, Formula Atlantics, Formula Renaults, Formula Ford 2000s and Formula Super Vee.
Cars are broken into three different speed groups, each with strict time brackets.
The first year of the series had relatively small entry numbers as the class found its footing.
Last year the average field size was just under ten, while this season people can expect 15 entries at most rounds.
“It is looking like it is going to be a good year,” FONZ coordinator John ‘JT’ Tomlin said.
Defending champion Josh Donohue returns this season. Though this time, he moves from the FT40 to an FT50 car.
Tom Alexander and FONZ grandmaster Ken Smith are also running FT50s.
Smith is currently fixing up his 1990 New Zealand Grand Prix-winning Swift DB4 Formula Atlantic. However, he is unsure whether it will be ready for the season.
Brendon Leitch will likely be racing at a handful of events this year.
Four FT40s are confirmed for the upcoming season, as are two Formula Renaults and four Formula Atlantics.
The season-opening MG Classic is scheduled for November 12-14.