Has anyone ever put a full downforce body...

...on a Formula Ford? Sounds like a fun way to lap a track. I've seen it done with a Formula Atlantic car and it seems like something that ticks all the boxes in terms of cost, fun, handling, etc. Post photos or links if you have them, I'm considering this as a viable alternative to karting for practice. Thanks in advance.
 

Ian Anderson

Lifetime Supporter
Supporter
Nope but I was part of the team that put a porsche spider body on a Formula Ford.

It was out in Zimbabwe and we did it to run in the 3 hour endurance.

They would not allow open wheelers and it ran half time at night (6 - 9 pm)

It ran very competitively until the 2nd fuel tank pipe that fed into the Formula Ford under seat tank blocked and every 12 laps we needed to pit - exit driver fuel then strap driver in adain - sort of slowed proceedings

Ian
 

Keith

Moderator
There were many silhoutte saloon car bodies put on the old F2 chassis and drive train. The weirdest (and most prolific) I raced against were entered as Skoda Rapides, bearing in mind that Skoda had the very worst reputation in the UK, it was a total insult to be comprehensively thrashed by a 'Skoda'

The full aero glass body in the style of the Rapide, didn't seem to have any detrimental effect to speed or handling and they were wicked fast...

I have no doubt that a Formula Ford would similarly provide an exciting base for such a project..

An original Rapide..



Tony Sugdens Version (I had to compete against this on a regular basis in the early '80's)
Don't forget, despite appearences this is a Formula 2 chassis and drivetrain.

 
Nope but I was part of the team that put a porsche spider body on a Formula Ford.

It was out in Zimbabwe and we did it to run in the 3 hour endurance.

They would not allow open wheelers and it ran half time at night (6 - 9 pm)

It ran very competitively until the 2nd fuel tank pipe that fed into the Formula Ford under seat tank blocked and every 12 laps we needed to pit - exit driver fuel then strap driver in adain - sort of slowed proceedings

Ian
Give us some more details Ian. Racing in Zimbabwe? Reminds me of a Lotus 47 found in Angola years ago having done some street circuit race while still under the Portuguese.
 

Ian Anderson

Lifetime Supporter
Supporter
Dave

That event would be December 1985 from memory.

Chassis was owned by Raymond Paul and leased to Mr Nel (Theo????) (used to be MD of Bosal exhausts). The second driver was Johan Radeyemer (my boss at the time) (Radeyemer family had a big VW operation in Bulawayo.)

Engine installed in the formula Ford body was a very hot VW unit and ran twin 45 side draft webers on a swan neck. No cooling fan - purely ram air to cool the cylinders and a big oil cooler in the draft. Gearbox was Hewland 5 speed. (Ratios altered for extra long legs) Tyres had to be Zimbabwe made and that limited them to 165-13.

The body was just dropped over the FF chassis and light holding straps bolted to chassis and suspension bolts. it rained for about 30 mins and driver got really wet as spray circulated inside/under the bodywork and dumped back on him.

Second tank was Bosal made and mounted above steering shaft and this gravity fed to the main FF fuel tank. Breather modified to go over roll bar and back to ground.

From memory we chose not to run an alternator but worked out that a battery chande at 2 hours would be a better option!

After the 3 hour race the car was returned to Formula Ford basis and returned to Raymond Paul. The next year it was run very successfully bt Steve Wheeler.

Unfortuneately no photos of the car at all in my posession as I was prettty busy all day and digi cameras had not yet been invented!

Ian
 
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Keith

Moderator
Don't know about then, but now the permanent race track in Zimbabwe is the main road leading to the border!
 

Ian Anderson

Lifetime Supporter
Supporter
Yes Zimbabwe had 2 permanent Tarmac race tracks. Prior to that they used old airfields mainly Kumalo in Bulawayo Where in 1069 I believe there were even a few GT40's raced.

The main tracks are the Victoria Falls Road circuit on the outskirts of Bulawayo. I believe it is now called the Breadon Everard Raceway. When I raced on it it was about 4.5km long but by then they had removed the hairpin loop that was used in the Formula 1 South African series in 1970 to about 197. Names of Charlton, Love and Tingle spring to mind from that era.

The capital Salisbury in Rhodesia days later Harare did not want to be outdone and made the Donnington race track on the outskirts of the capital. This track is the opposite of the Bulawayo one which was long straights and fast bends, Donnybrook was short, narrow and twisty. It had about 5 foot high rock and concrete walls with little run off.

After my racing days I went into the organising of events and ended up as Southern Area ZMSF chairman and regional Fia steward. I did not duck fast enough when landed with that position!

Ian
 
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Ian Anderson

Lifetime Supporter
Supporter
Search with Google Maps with Satelite and you can get a fair view of the tracks use these in the search box

Breedon Everard Raceway Bulawayo Zimbabwe

Donnybrooke Park Harare Zimbabwe



And Keith you are correct in Bulawayo that track was known as the "Beit Bridge 200" as it was 200 miles to the Beit Bridge border post with South Africa. I have heard of people doing it in less than 2 hours! I've also seen the remains of a family of 5 when their car hit a Kudu which had jumped the game fence. (Adult Male Kudu will stand about 7 foot at the shoulder)

The same route was a "hot" area in the terrorist war (For Jum it will be called the Liberation war) In the late 1970's and numerous motorists were "taken out" in ambushes aloong the road. Normally a squirt of AK fire and then the buggers ran away.

Half way down to the bridge was Gwanda - a mining and farming town and on the outskirts was Vubachikwe mine (Gold mine) which I audited in my youth. At the mine they had a rock - about the size of a rugby ball which you had placed on your hand which was on the desk. With your other hand you rapped the rock and it vibrated like a steel bar. Now any Wilbur Smith readers may remember this in one of his books - yes he had visited the mine and held the rock too. The Mine manager reconed it was the richest piece of rock he had ever held and expected if they milled it that it would give upwards of 12 ounces of gold!

Anyway ~I digress and back to the Formula Ford stuff

Ian
 
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