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Old 11 Apr 2002, 09:24 (Ref:257016)   #1
JR Ewing
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Regional Formula Ford

Let's have a good debate about FF1600s vs Zetecs for regional series as it appears that these series are finally moving towards the Zetecs.
What does anyone know and/or think?

Last edited by Francesca; 17 Apr 2002 at 15:16.
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Old 11 Apr 2002, 10:02 (Ref:257034)   #2
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mattray has a lot of promise if they can keep it on the circuit!
full grid of 32 cars at Castle Combe for the 1600 races nearly every meeting and it never dips below 28, so there is no lack of interest there, maybe its the way the championship is managed or the lack of an alternative that creates this, but I see no reason to change to Zetec. Kent is best!

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Old 11 Apr 2002, 10:22 (Ref:257048)   #3
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The races are great with the kent cars, still very close and most cars very well presented. As long as the grids are there, why change! One thing I personally dont like, is that they sound a bit like tractors!
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Old 11 Apr 2002, 11:10 (Ref:257073)   #4
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Hi JR, welcome to the forum.
No, the tractor sound isn't very sexy is it?
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Old 11 Apr 2002, 11:17 (Ref:257080)   #5
JR Ewing
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Hmmmm.
Combe is quite unique I think with their very strong series.
Snetterton last weekend - Southern champs - more Zetecs than Kents which was a surprise, to me at least.
Star of Mids looks quite weak to me - reduced numbers and reduced quality perhaps (not meant as any insult to anybody). I hear Oulton still planning Zetecs for next year. Scottish series starting to take off.
Don't you think the old 1600s are getting and LOOKING pretty old now.
Maybe Zetecs would shake things up a bit and attract new, young drivers.
My prediction:
In a year or two, juniors and seniors go back to one series (with classes) and strong regional series to act as feeders/starters with classed for both Zetecs and Kents - but the Zetecs will the 'top class.'
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Old 11 Apr 2002, 12:21 (Ref:257145)   #6
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Zetecs will be starting to pave their way through, there are now so many Zetecs for sale at present, that I think over the next year or two people will be upgrading to the newer class. Also if you look in the market place now, it is flooded with some of the earlier Zetecs and can be found at the same prices as well sorted Kents. If you look at say the Van Dieman chassis, I think (correct me if Im wrong)it has been an evolution chassis since 98, so you can buy an earlier car and update it for not a great deal.
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Old 11 Apr 2002, 12:44 (Ref:257172)   #7
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I'm pretty sure the 95,96,97 are all similar with just tidying up, primarily, the front end for straight line speed. The rear suspension is identical.
The 98 had a pretty radical front suspension set-up which even VD will now admit doesn't work. It is as quick as the 97 but no quicker.
The 99 was a new shape - quicker straight line again - but, initially, the front suspension didn't work that well. they altered it 4 times during the year.
The 2000 is effectively the last spec 99 with the engine pushed in more to make it very slightly shorter and with the alternator hanging off a driveshaft.
The 2001 is the 2000 with another badge. 1mm shorter - monoshock becoming more popular.
The 2002 is the 2001 - again monoshock but people starting to move away to dula shocks for better handling over the bumps (kerbs).
The 99 as such cannot be upgraded to, say, a 2001 car but is no slower to start with anyway!
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Old 11 Apr 2002, 12:54 (Ref:257177)   #8
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Thaks for clearing that up. I was nearlly right!?! You understand my point though I think.
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Old 11 Apr 2002, 13:20 (Ref:257201)   #9
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The 1600 class is just about to restart (with talk of up to 20 cars by the end of the season) in Ireland after being missing for the last 2 years. Zetecs have cancelled their first 2 races of the season because they can't get grids. I certainly hope the Kents come back strongly. How much is a Kent going for in the UK? and what are the chassis and engine combinations to have? I'm thinking of the FF festival at the end of the year.

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Old 11 Apr 2002, 13:53 (Ref:257224)   #10
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The FF1600s were out at Kirkistown last weekend. What a CLASS!

Some absolutely nail-biting racing - I'd love to see more of them.
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Old 11 Apr 2002, 14:27 (Ref:257248)   #11
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mattray has a lot of promise if they can keep it on the circuit!
The thing with the kent engined cars are that they have the right ratio of grip and power. Zetecs are way over gripped for the power they have with poeple always complaining of understeer because of so much grip at the rear. It takes a while for anyone to learn how to carry the speed into corners while keeping the front end gripping.

So, the 1600 cars are more chuckable and provide more confidence in diving up the inside or outside of people because you can be more sure of getting out of the corner, thats why its always such good racing.

you can get a good competitive car for about 5,500 thats a swift 92/93 or a van diemen 90-92. The Ray is also a fantastic car and I know of one for sale so let me know if you are interested. its a 2000 ex swedish championship winner!

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Old 11 Apr 2002, 14:58 (Ref:257273)   #12
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The 750 motor club run a class for pre98 zetecs in the uk, and they are struggling a bit with entries. The monoposto series also allows zetecs to race in them, but again not many are out.

Also was it in the 98 season that there was a rule change, wider track/cockpit dimensions, so if a zetec class started up why not have one for these earlier cars. They may be harder to find but cheaper than a 2000/2001 chassis.
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Old 11 Apr 2002, 15:19 (Ref:257309)   #13
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Not a bad idea Tony.
Mattray is right.
Having raced both the Zetec is a right b*stard to get into the corners without losing all the speed and requires a far more confident driver than a 1600. Go in without much confidence, lift off ...... you're gone!
My angle in starting this thread is that I think both are fantastic and I am mad on both but I do think the 1600s are a bit long in the tooth and if we moved more to club Zetecs the racing would be at least as good and more modern machinery does attract more people without doubt.
Mattray is right, the Zetec is a bit more complicated to set up but NO WAY costs more than an FF1600 to run - it should be quite a bit LESS. My experience does bear this out.
I do wonder if people who own FF1600s are really just concerned of the long-term values of their cars.........
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Old 11 Apr 2002, 15:31 (Ref:257331)   #14
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mattray has a lot of promise if they can keep it on the circuit!
My car is a 97 Ray and is one of the more modern cars out there not counting John Adlams Van Diemen 01 (an australian bound kent 01) The costs of running a kent is boosted by the engine builds and thats the only extra cost I can think of compared to a zetec.

Where the cost of a Zetec car rises above the cost of a Kent as far as I can see, is when people running at the front are testing to get good at driving them. They test which makes them better drivers and then spend money on tyres to make the car consistant with how it was in testing. With a kent not as much testing is needed to be fast and the tyres remain pretty constant throughout. I did all last year in a Van Diemen 89 on 1 set of tyres albeit with no testing and dry running throughout, but I won the castle Combe class B championship and came second overall.

So although running a zetec is cheaper, being competive in one is more costly because of the testing and tyre costs.

As far as the value of the cars goes, I think the zetecs are far more likely to lose value then a kent because of the newer versions coming in all of the time being supposedly more competitive forcing the costs of the older cars down.

Kent cars have been pretty stable throughout the past 5 years at about 5,500 to 7,500. and thats for cars built from 89 to 95.

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Old 11 Apr 2002, 17:56 (Ref:257394)   #15
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How often are kent engines being rebuilt? as opposed to a zetec?
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