FFord plan to attract club teams

Series organiser Racing Line is awaiting confirmation of the level of Ford's involvement in the series in 2005, with an announcement anticipated before the Brands Hatch season finale on October 2/3.

FFord plan to attract club teams

Racing Line boss Sam Roach believes that the series must position itself as a cheaper option to the rival Formula BMW and Formula Renault series and become more accessible to club teams if it is to survive. "It's very important to increase grid sizes," he said.

"The national series has always been seen as exclusive, and we need to be more inclusive. At the moment it's an expensive structure for teams to come in to. There's a perception that club teams won't be able to compete, but if you if you look at Myercough College, Kartstart and Kevin Mills Racing, they've all made the step up from club series this year and have been competitive. "There's also a perception that the national series is too expensive. That's been true this year, but for 2005 it's critical that we break that perception. We want to separate out pre-event testing and to introduce a cheaper entry fee to reduce costs."

The move to attract European FFord runners comes after a successful race at Spa, when the grid was boosted by Benelux series cars. Roach said: "We're working to encourage cooperation with other European Ford series. The Scandinavian, Finnish and Benelux runners are all interested in coming over and doing British races next year, and the Benelux guys have extended the same invitation for our teams to go and run at Zandvoort.

"The drivers and teams in those series still look to the UK series as the standard. They're keen to test themselves against the best FFord drivers in the world." Roach wants the championship to return to Spa, and is interested in the possibility of running several international events with foreign teams in the style of a Eurocup. "Having one foreign round is a good enhancement over what is offered by Renault and BMW," he said.

"There's no reason why we couldn't do things to bring the European series together for selected events. It could recreate the Festival atmosphere."

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