The EWC is back!
Here’s a little history of the Formula Ford East vs West Challenge, aka the EWC.
Way back in the day (circa 1999), I bought my Lola T-540 with intentions on racing it as a Club Ford in SCCA regionals. To my dismay, Formula Ford car counts were low and race groups often frightening.
At the time, CENDIV was a huge region spanning both sides of Lake Michigan. At the regional level, few racers were racing on the other side of the lake. There were lots of Formula Fords out there but we rarely crossed paths.
The Formula Ford East vs West Challenge prioritized four weekends per season, two on each side of the lake. A team championship incentivized widespread driver recruiting. FF and CF car counts grew rapidly and the series was able to command Formula Ford only race groups. The EWC had its own traveling trophy, The Lamont Cup. Success!
The CENDIV split killed the EWC. With twice as many Runoffs invitations available, the series lost most of its FF regulars. But the EWC went out not with a whimper but with a huge bang…the FF40th at Road America.
The EWC briefly resurfaced in 2019 as an invitational “bonus” race at the FF50th. No teams, no points just a delightful way to close out a memorable weekend.
The 2024 reincarnation of the EWC will be a two-weekend series, August 9-11 at Grattan Raceway and September 13-15 at Road America. The EWC will again be team-based, East vs West, and both weekends will include Formula Ford only “feature” races.
More details will be added below as they develop…
Both EWC events are sanctioned by the Vintage Sports Car Drivers Association. Click below for the event pages. In addition to registration, these pages have links to the schedule, entry list, and FAQ’s.
There will be a small upcharge to enter the Formula Ford only EWC “feature” races. Grattan registration is now open.
The paddock at Grattan is very tight. In recent years, the VSDCA has assigned paddock slips so that everyone can squeeze into the tiny paddock in an orderly fashion.
Give Kathy Newton, the race chair, a heads up that you will be racing at Grattan. The sooner she has you on her list, the better your paddock location. Kathy’s e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
There are no paddock constraints at Road America…the place is massive.
Formula Fords will race in their assigned group (almost certainly with other classes) per a typical VSCDA race weekend. At some point during the weekend, there will a Formula Ford only “feature” race for EWC team championship points.
The grid for the EWC “feature” race will be set by each car’s fastest lap in the preceding session. This preceding session could be a practice, a qualification, or a heat race. When the final schedule is published, it will specify when qualifying for the EWC feature will occur.
Driver Eligibility & Licensing
The following requirements must be met to race at a VSCDA event:
- be a VSCDA member
- be at least 18 years old by October of the current year
- have a Medical on file with VSCDA OR hold a competition racing license
- have a Car Preparation Sheet on file with VSCDA
- have wheel-to-wheel competition racing experience within the past 2 years OR
- have completed a competition racing school within the past 2 years
Competition licenses issued by the VMC, VMC member clubs, SCCA, FIA, and CASC are routinely accepted at VSCDA events.
Click HERE for VSCDA membership information.
The EWC is open to Cortina and Kent powered Formula Fords though 2009. That is a lot of cars.
Primarily, Formula Fords race in the VSCDA on treaded tires in Group 4, the Monoposto group:
- VF – pre-1973 Formula Ford
- CF – Club Ford through 1981
- FF – Formula Ford through 1997
If you just can’t give up your slicks, CF and FF (through 2009) cars can also race in Group 7, the wings and slicks group. Kent powered Canadian Toyo series cars are welcome in Group 7 as well.
All Formula Fords from Groups 4 and 7 will race together in the EWC “feature” races.
The VSCDA follows Monoposto tire rules. The preferred Group 4 treaded tire is the Hoosier VFF. Also eligible are the Avon A29 and the Dunlop 9092.
Safety Preparation, Annual Techs, & Logbooks
The VSCDA Technical Requirements for Race Cars defines safety preparation, logbook, and annual tech requirements for the FF50th. The document outlines straightforward guidelines for basic vehicle and driver safety: on-board fire extinguishers, master switches, fuel cells, roll hoops, driver restraints, helmets, protective garments, throttle springs, rain lights, catch tanks, the usual stuff.
Logbooks and annual techs are required at VSCDA events. If your car does not have a logbook, you can obtain one from the VSCDA tech inspection team. Annual techs from other racing organizations (VMC member clubs, SCCA, CASC, etc) will be honored.
A possible surprise is the requirement for a Car Preparation Sheet. Before an entry will be accepted for a VSCDA events, a car must have an up-to-date CPS on file with the VSCDA office. Click HERE for a link to the one-page form.
Lake Michigan is the line of demarcation between East and West.
The East team, therefore, will consist of drivers from Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and all other states to the east. Canadians from Ontario, Quebec, and the maritime provinces will also be assigned to the East team.
The West team will consist of drivers from Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana and all other states to the west. Drivers from the western Canadian provinces and Mexico will be assigned to the West team.
If received, I will assign international entries by flipping a coin.
EAST and WEST team stickers will be distributed at both Grattan and Road America:
Whether you are racing for 1st or 21st, your efforts will make a difference to your team in the EWC. Team points will be awarded per this linear formula from first to last:
Points can be earned in both qualifications and the EWC “feature” race. During qualifications, there will be a maximum of 10 points available for fastest lap down to 1 point for slowest lap. In the races, there will be a maximum of 30 points for the first car across the line down to 1 point for the last place car.
There will also be opportunities for bonus points up and down the field:
- Fast Race Lap Bonus: 3, 2, and 1 points for fastest three race laps
- Slowest Lap Race Bonus: 1, 2, and 3 points for the slowest three race laps
- Lap Time Bonus: 3, 2, and 1 points for the three biggest improvements from qualifying to the feature race
- Passing Bonus: 1 point for each position gained (available to all drivers)
The linear formula will return fractional points. Decimals will be carried out to three places.
The East vs West team championship will be decided by the sum of team points. There is no driver championship.
As I do every year, I design a T-shirt for family and crew members who support my racing hobby. Here is this year’s design:
I am not and never will be in the T-shirt business. However, I will run some extras. Terms: cash at Grattan or Road America. No shipping. Don’t even ask.
The objective of the EWC is to grow Formula Ford car counts and get some extra seat time in cars that we love. Under no circumstances should the EWC be taken seriously. “The World’s Premier Formula Ford Team Championship” is marketing hype. The EWC is quirky and fun, not important.
If you have any questions about the 2024 EWC, click HERE for my contact page.
See you at Grattan and Road America!