Ford and MSA bring new motorsport championship to Britain

September 17, 2014 By Mike Lee
Last updated on August 6, 2015
  • FIA Formula 4 concept to be powered by Ford’s acclaimed 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine – as proven in Formula Ford – tuned to deliver the FIA’s maximum permitted 160PS
  • New championship to be named MSA Formula – Certified by FIA, Powered by Ford EcoBoost
  • New car available to order from 27 September following its Silverstone unveil
  • First 15 cars to be delivered by December 2014

Ford and MSA bring new motorsport championship to BritainFord reveals the most exciting development in British junior single-seater motor racing for almost 50 years of the FIA F4 concept in the UK for the 2015 season.

Powered by the race-proven Ford 1.6-litre EcoBoost road car engine, the new championship’s carbon-fibre monocoque chassis will provide drivers with a safe, reliable and economical ladder to success from karting to Formula 1.

The series will continue to be broadcast alongside the British Touring Car Championship, providing access to Britain’s biggest motorsport TV package on ITV4.

MSA Formula – Certified by FIA, Powered by Ford EcoBoost

  • ‘Ready to race’ price of a new car including engine lease, Sadev sequential paddle shift transmission and data logging system for less than £36,000
  • The only UK championship awarded by the MSA and run to the FIA’s F4 regulations
  • In 2015 MSA Formula will be open to 15-year-old drivers and older and will be the only single-seater championship in Britain to offer this
  • Carbon-fibre monocoque chassis, designed to meet exacting FIA safety standards, to be produced by leading European manufacturer Mygale
  • All Ford EcoBoost engines to be supplied through one leading race engine specialist Sodemo
  • Control tyres from leading race and road tyre manufacturer Hankook
  • 10-meeting, 30-race schedule of BTCC-support races at all major British circuits, with live TV and highlights package
  • Mentoring and driver development programme every race weekend overseen by the MSA, British motorsport’s governing body

Gerard Quinn, head of Ford Racing in Europe, said:  “Ford is delighted to reveal details of the MSA Formula – Certified by FIA, Powered by Ford EcoBoost championship. We believe this to be the most remarkable initiative in junior single-seater racing since the launch of the original Formula Ford in 1967, a concept which helped develop the track careers of so many motor racing greats.

“MSA Formula – Certified by FIA, Powered by Ford EcoBoost offers an affordable ladder to success, bringing exciting single-seater racing within the budgets of aspiring drivers. This was the world governing body’s aim when it announced its regulations for FIA Formula 4, and Ford is delighted to assist in delivering that promise.”

Powered by Ford EcoBoost

The powertrain for the new car, the 1.6-litre EcoBoost – a mainstay of Ford’s performance car range – is a 160PS development of the unit which has successfully powered Formula Ford in Britain for the last three seasons, designed and manufactured by Ford in Britain and supplied at a price to meet the FIA’s mandated price cap. It is the only engine homologated by the FIA for use in F4 chassis in the UK. The engines and their electronic management systems will be supplied by engine tuner Sodemo in sealed form following dyno testing and power matching to +/- 1.5 per cent  tolerance to ensure parity.

Affordable purchase price

MSA Formula will be the only UK championship running to the FIA’s mandated price cap system, enabling affordable racing.  The Mygale FIA F4 chassis complete with six-speed sequential gearbox, ‘paddle shift’ steering wheel and data logging system will retail at the FIA’s price cap of £30,400*. The Ford EcoBoost  engines will be supplied on a lease basis of £4,800* for a season’s running. A set of four Hankook slick race tyres will cost competitors £599.

Chassis by Mygale

The new championship’s carbon-fibre monocoque chassis, designed to meet exacting FIA safety standards, will be supplied by respected French manufacturer Mygale. Its F4 chassis, which is also being supplied to the Australian and Chinese markets is designed around the FIA F3-level safety requirements, including front and rear impact-absorbing structures, anti-intrusion side panels, roll hoops, FIA head restraint system, wheel restraining cables, FIA safety seat and retractable steering wheel and column.

Tyres by Hankook

MSA Formula cars will race on Hankook slick tyres identical in compound and construction to those employed in the FIA European F3 Championship. Drivers will be able to gain valuable experience of the tyres and their characteristics ahead of their next step up the FIA’s racing career ladder. In conjunction with Hankook, Ford will award the 2015 MSA Formula Champion a test with a leading FIA F3 team.

MSA Formula race calendar

MSA Formula will be contested over 30 races in 2015 as the single-seater support series to the UK’s premier motorsport package, the British Touring Car Championship. The season kicks off in early April and takes in events at all of the UK’s leading race circuits: Brands Hatch, Donington Park, Thruxton, Oulton Park, Croft, Snetterton, Knockhill, Rockingham and Silverstone.

Rob Jones, MSA chief executive, said:  “The launch of MSA Formula is a really exciting development for UK motor racing, and for young drivers looking to establish themselves in the sport. The objective is to provide young drivers with a clearly defined career path, offer global recognition and a solid foundation in racing. The affordability of the championship and alignment to global regulations will once again establish Britain as the place to come to race. Our driver development programme will offer MSA Formula drivers the best possible learning experience. I firmly believe that the MSA’s adoption of the FIA’s F4 concept makes this the clear choice for young career drivers.”

Gerhard Berger, FIA Single Seat Commission president, added:  “There can be only one FIA-approved Formula 4 championship in each market, and this partnership with Ford is the perfect combination – it may prove to be the strongest FIA F4 championship in Europe. This is just what is needed for the British market, which is a strong and important one.”

Tech spec

Chassis                      FIA homologated carbon monocoque

Engine                         Ford EcoBoost 1.6-litre, 160PS

Transmission               6-speed sequential gearbox with paddle shift

Brakes                         2-piston callipers

Front/rear suspension Double wishbones and pushrods, twin adjustable dampers, adjustable anti-roll bar

Safety (to FIA standards)       Front and rear impact absorbing structures, anti-intrusion side panels, roll hoops, removable seat, head restraint, wheel restraint cables, on-board fire extinguisher, retractable steering wheel and column

Aerodynamics                         Adjustable front and rear wings

Dimensions                            4340x1750x950mm

Front wheels                           8x13in

Rear wheels                            10x13in

Tyres                                       Hankook racing slicks

FIA price (rolling chassis)       £26,400

FIA data/paddle/dash              £4,000 (optional)

Engine                                     £4,800

2015 MSA Formula calendar

4-5 Apr            Brands Hatch (Indy)

18-19 Apr        Donington Park

9-10 May         Thruxton

6-7 Jun            Oulton Park

27-28 Jun        Croft

8-9 Aug           Snetterton

22-23 Aug       Knockhill

5-6 Sep           Rockingham

26-27 Sep       Silverstone

10-11 Oct        Brands Hatch (GP)