|Engine suppliers||Ford Kent engine|
|Drivers' champion||Rory Smith|
|Constructors' champion||Medina JL17|
|Official website||Formula Ford Festival|
The Formula Ford Festival is an annual meeting of Ford-powered single-seat racing cars which is held at the end of the British racing season, at the Brands Hatch motor racing circuit in the county of Kent, in Southern England. The events are held over the course of a weekend and although various classes of past and present Formula Fords are present, the high point for many is the championship in which young but skilled drivers from Ford competitions in Europe and beyond race against one another. Often it is a rare chance to compare the skills of drivers who take part in different Ford competitions across the world. Many winners of the festival have gone on to enjoy professional careers in various branches of motorsport - including fourteen who have raced in Formula One.
The inaugural season in 1972 took place at Snetterton, where the festival was held until 1975. It then moved to Brands Hatch where it has stayed to date.
The Kent engine was the lead engine in early Formula Ford, and so from the first festival in 1972 until the Zetec was introduced in 1993.
The 1800 cc Zetec engine was the leading engine from 1993 until the Duratec took over in 2006. Zetec remained an engine sub-class until 2014.
The 1600 cc Duratec engine is currently used in the leading races although the Zetec and Kent engines are still used in junior and classic classes of racing. Duratec remained the Festival champion class until 2014.
For many years the festival was the highlight of the Formula Ford season. Entries of several hundred cars from all over the Formula Ford world were common into the 1990s, with racers competing in knockout heats to decide the grid for a grand final. Entries have been declining and recent Festivals have struggled to attract more than 40-50 cars, enough for two heats and a final. Support races from other classes e.g. Caterham, Club F3, and Historic Sports 2000 have also been included in the program. This is because although the event still has the atmosphere of past years its position as a rite of passage for young drivers has largely been usurped by other junior formulae, mostly by the FIA backed Formula 4 and karting.
More "historic" FF1600 cars have been turning up for the supporting races than contemporary Zetecs, however, in 2006, the Festival saw the Duratec engine for the first time thereby having a final for all 3 marques at one meeting for the first time. The Walter Hayes Trophy now recognises the continuing interest in 1600cc 'Kent' Formula Ford and attracted over 150 entries in 2006, including several drivers more commonly seen in much more senior formulae, including current two-time IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden, who won the 2008 Kent class, the most recent prominent champion to have raced in this festival.
From 2015 the Festival became exclusively for Kent engined cars, restoring the Festival to its pre-1993 format.
Below is a list of overall festival winners. Since 1993, a secondary festival was run in alongside for older specification cars running the Ford Kent engine. Since 2009, a third event has also been held for cars using the Ford Zetec engine.
* denotes later raced in Formula One
|Year||Circuit||Overall Festival Winner||Kent Festival||Zetec Festival|
|1972||Snetterton||Ian Taylor||Dulon LD9||Ford Kent engine||Not Held||Not Held|
|1973||Donald Macleod||Van Diemen FA73|
|1974||Richard Morgan||Crossle 25F|
|1975||Geoff Lees *||Royale RP21|
|1976||Brands Hatch||Derek Daly *||Hawke DL17|
|1977||Chico Serra *||Van Diemen RF77|
|1978||Michael Roe||Van Diemen RF78|
|1979||Donald Macleod||Sark 1|
|1980||Roberto Moreno *||Van Diemen RF80|
|1981||Tommy Byrne *||Van Diemen RF81|
|1982||Julian Bailey *||Lola T640E|
|1983||Andrew Gilbert-Scott||Reynard 83F|
|1984||Gerrit van Kouwen||Lola T644E|
|1985||Johnny Herbert *||Quest FF85|
|1986||Roland Ratzenberger *||Van Diemen RF86|
|1987||Eddie Irvine *||Van Diemen RF87|
|1988||Vincenzo Sospiri *||Van Diemen RF88|
|1989||Niko Palhares||Van Diemen RF89|
|1990||Dave Coyne||Swift FB90|
|1991||Marc Goossens||Van Diemen RF91|
|1992||Jan Magnussen *||Van Diemen RF92|
|1993||Russell Ingall||Van Diemen RF93||Ford Zetec engine||Andrew MacAuley||Reynard 92FF|
|1994||Jason Watt||Vector TF94||Gavin Wills||Swift SC92F|
|1995||Kevin McGarrity||Van Diemen RF95||Topi Serjala||Swift SC95F|
|1996||Mark Webber *||Van Diemen RF96||Mark Marchant||Jamun M96|
|1997||Jacky van der Ende||Van Diemen RF97||Not Held|
|1998||Jenson Button *||Mygale SJ98|
|1999||Ricardo van der Ende||Van Diemen RF99|
|2000||Anthony Davidson *||Mygale SJ00|
|2001||Alan van der Merwe||Mygale SJ01|
|2002||Jan Heylen||Van Diemen RF02||Dave Fricker||Reynard 89FF|
|2003||Joey Foster||Van Diemen RF03||Matthew Gilmore||Van Diemen RF92|
|2004||Dan Clarke||Van Diemen RF04||Joey Foster||Reynard 89FF|
|2005||Duncan Tappy||Mygale SJ04||Gavin Wills||Van Diemen RF00|
|2006||Richard Tannahill||Van Diemen RF06||Ford Duratec engine||Noel Dunne||Van Diemen RF92|
|2007||Nick Tandy||Ray GRS07||Keith Dempsey||Ray GRS07|
|2008||Wayne Boyd||Mygale SJ08||Josef Newgarden||Ray GRS08|
|2009||Chrissy Palmer||Mygale SJ09||Rory Butcher||Van Diemen RF90||Neil Tofts||Mygale SJ04|
|2010||Dennis Lind||Van Diemen LA08||Neville Smyth||Ray GRS09||Julian Hoskins||Vector TF93|
|2011||Scott Malvern||Mygale SJ10||Ivor McCullough||Van Diemen RF00||Neil Tofts||Mygale SJ04|
|2012||Antti Buri||Mygale SJ11||Ivor McCullough||Van Diemen RF00||Xavier Michel||Van Diemen|
|Year||Circuit||Overall Festival Winner - Kent||Duratec Festival||Zetec Festival|
|2013||Brands Hatch||Niall Murray||Van Diemen RF99||MCP||Bart van Os||Mygale SJ10||Julian Hoskins||Vector TF93|
|Year||Circuit||Overall Festival Winner - Kent||Duratec-Zetec Festival|
|2014||Brands Hatch||James Raven||Ray GR13/14||Bold||Thomas Craincourt||Mygale Duratec|
|Year||Circuit||Overall Festival Winner - Kent||Pre-1990 Winner||Pre-1982 Winner|
|2015||Brands Hatch||Wayne Boyd||Van Diemen MS13K||Bold||Matthew Cowley||Reynard FF88||Stuart Kestenbaum||Van Diemen RF79|
|2016||Niall Murray||Van Diemen RF99||MCP||Job van Uitert||Van Diemen RF89|
|2017||Joey Foster||Ray GR08||Bold|
|2018||Joshua Smith||Van Diemen JL13||Barnett|
|2019||Jonathan Browne||Ray GR19||Bold||Alan Davidson||Mondiale M89S|
|2020||Rory Smith||Medina JL18||MCP||Peter Daly||Van Diemen RF88|