In 1967 the first Formula Ford race was run, by the mid 1970's the category was well established, rules and regulations had been formalised and the 1600cc Ford Kent engine in strict state of tune had been adopted.
The popularity and success of the category continued to grow, when in 1993 the Ford Motor Company decided an update was necessary and the Ford Zetec engine was phased in, replacing the aging Kent engine.
Although the rest of the technical regulations changed little, the demands of increased power and grip accelerated chassis development and many of the popular smaller manufacturers stopped producing cars.
The Zetec revolution was not embraced by all, as many Club racers preferred the familiarity of the Kent engine and many of the modern chassis were adapted to fit the older power plant.
The Zetec era lasted for 12 years until the Duratec engine was introduced in 2006. Perhaps the most radical changes to the category are still to come, as from 2012 a small capacity turbo charged engine will be introduced along with a sequential gear box.
Formula Ford Zetec Champions
1993 - 2005
Jacky van der Ende
...many Kent cars were simpler and built by smaller companies such as this Swift '92
...many early Zetec's were converted to run Kent engines like this Jamun M97
...early Zetec's were a development of the later Kent cars, like this Van Diemen RF95
...chassis developved quickly, Ray GR2002
Formula Ford Zetec
...the Van Diemen RF02 chassis is basically the same chassis used today in the Duratec era!