The Most Exciting New Honda in Years by PCAL

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There are many possible paths to becoming a professional racer. In the past, one of the most popular stepping stones to a career in professional racing as a driver or engineer was Formula Ford (FF). The cars are restricted to using 1.6L Ford Kent engines that were designed back in 1959 producing a maximum of 140hp. They are also not allowed to have any downforce generating devices.

Honda FF Engine Demonstration Vehicle Swift DB-1

The specifications might not initially seem very impressive, but keep in mind this is still a thoroughbred racecar that weighs about 1000lbs with highly developed suspension, running full race tires. The car helps provide a remarkably level playing field at a reasonable cost which has been proven to help develop world champion drivers, including Jenson Button, the current F1 world champion.

Unfortunately, the Kent engines and associated parts were becoming rarer and rarer. Honda decided that it was time to show some support this legendary racing series and has developed the L15A7. Even devoted Honda buffs might not recognize this engine code. That’s okay because the engines are typically destined for the lowly Fit. The engine has been modified to endure the rigors of racing and to mimic the performance of the old Kent engines.

hondafitraceengine

So why blog about one of the least sexy (well, except when Danica was racing) race series in the world? People highly modify cars built for the street to go faster on the track. Why not start with a platform that was designed strictly for going fast on the track from day one? Throw away the rule book and get some long tube headers, ITB’s and huge race cams. Formula Fords start at under $10,000 and Fifth Gear did an interesting test where a “stock” FF easily outran the Ford GT around a track. Talk about bang for buck and just imagine what you could do with a fully built engine!

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