•F1 technology provided by Caterham for bodywork design of new Southern International challenger•First car set to hit the tracks within weeks
Formula Ford’s newest contender - and the first British-designed chassis for the new era - is taking shape in the Norfolk workshops of Southern International with design input from the Caterham F1 team.
The man behind the EcoBoost-powered Sinter is Lindsay Allen, whose Fluid Motorsports Development team hopes to field three of the new cars in the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain and the Formula Ford EuroCup.
Southern International revealed computer images of the Sinter today; the first example is under construction and will be running by early next month. “It’s 100 per cent new,” Allen says of the Sinter. “Our designer Sam Owen and I started work on it 18 months ago, from scratch, we have been helped enormously by our technical partnership with Caterham F1, whose technicians have designed the bodywork.
“Hopefully the Sinter will be running by the end of January or early February, and we are all very excited about its prospects. The introduction of the new technical regulations and the new EcoBoost power unit has levelled the Formula Ford playing field for everyone and it’s a good time to be launching a new chassis. The last thing that anyone here wanted was for Formula Ford to become a one-chassis series.”
French constructor Mygale revealed its new car on the Ford stand at the Frankfurt Show last September; British show-goers will have their first opportunity to see it at this week’s (12-15 January) Autosport International show at Birmingham’s NEC, where it will be displayed on the BRSCC stand.
Both the Mygale and the Sinter are designed around the production-based 1.6-litre Ford EcoBoost direct injection, turbocharged engine, limited to producing around 165PS and 220Nm, and mated to a six-speed sequential transmission with mechanical shift mechanism.
Increased safety levels, to the latest, stringent FIA standards, are mandated by the new Formula Ford technical regulations, which demand front and rear carbon crash structures, side intrusion panels, FIA-specification head restraint system, wheel tethers and an FIA removable seat.
Sam Roach of RacingLine, the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain promoter, welcomes the Sinter to the grid: “It looks like being an exciting addition to the championship; I am sure that with expertise of Lindsay and his team at Southern International that the Sinter will be a front-running proposition.
“Freedom of chassis design has driven Formula Ford since the inception of the category in 1967. Only Formula 3 and Formula 1 offer the same levels of freedom, which help drive technical standards to exceptionally high levels. The different implications of car set-up and each individual chassis variation create a steep learning curve for drivers, helping to accelerate the development of their abilities.”
Formula Ford’s next generation will enjoy their first competitive action over the Easter weekend (7-9 April) at Oulton Park in Cheshire. The British championship features 24 rounds spread over eight race meetings, including supporting events to British F3 and German touring cars, while the EuroCup dovetails with the UK dates to take in races at Brands Hatch, Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, Germany’s Nürburgring and Zandvoort in the Netherlands.