The perennial proving ground for future champions – Formula Ford – is set to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, with bumper grids slated for the Silverstone Classic (28-30 July).
The entry-level single-seaters will make their first return to the event since 2013, with two enormous 54-car grids expected to serve up a feast of close and exciting racing.
Over the past 50 years, Silverstone has witnessed hundreds of spectacular Formula Ford showdowns, with its high-speed layout producing some truly memorable slipstreaming duels between young protagonists, including James Hunt, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jody Scheckter, Nelson Piquet, Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill and Jenson Button.
“We are thrilled to be bringing Formula Ford back to the Classic in 2017 for what will be its biggest 50th anniversary celebrated,” said event organiser Nick Wigley. “Formula Ford has played such a major role, in both global motor sport history and the careers of just about evert young racing driver, that is has earned its place in history. What’s more, it’s going to be another real crowd-pleaser, with lots of incredible wheel-to-wheel action – something for which Formula Ford racing has always been renowned.”
The two Formula Ford grids will line up alongside races already confirmed on the 2017 Silverstone Classic bill: Group C prototypes, FIA Masters Historic Formula One and the recently announced Austin A35 Celebrity Race.
“These are cars from the glorious early years of Formula Ford and they never fail to deliver timeless and thrilling single-seater racing,” said Graham White, CEO of the HSCC. “Even though we are permitted to start grids of 54 cars on the full Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, we are still expected to be oversubscribed, such will be the demand to be part of these wonderful racers to acclaim 50 years of famed Formula Ford.”