Formula Ford Festival Lights Up Automobilista 2

Cover Image.jpeg
Formula Ford 1600, Brands Hatch
The Formula Ford Festival, once a pillar of the UK Motorsport calendar, debuts in Automobillista 2 through an enormous livery pack for the Formula Trainer Advanced class.

There is no shortage of Formula cars in Automobilista 2, but most of them are high-level vehicles. Formula One and IndyCars dominate the open-wheel roster - but there is some junior formula fun to be had as well. Case in point: The Formula Trainer Advanced class, which is essentially a Formula Ford 1600 car with a different name.

Normally, you would not expect the class to get too much attention - but the Formula Ford Festival - DURATEC Champions 2007 - 2011 livery pack by @ott782 could change this. Adding liveries for all 27 grid slots of the class, helmets, overalls, and AI files, the pack allow sim racers to relive the 2007 to 2011 era of the Formula Ford Festival.

The Formula Ford Festival's History

Starting in 1972 at Snetterton in Norfolk, the Formula Ford Festival was a staple on the road to many of the bigger single-seater series at the time. The festival would move to Brands Hatch in 1975 and has stayed there ever since. The series was seen as the junior championship to be in if you wanted to progress and the festival was the pinnacle.

Some of the world's greatest drivers have competed at the festival. Johnny Herbert, Roland Ratzenberger, Mark Webber, Jenson Button, Nick Tandy and 2023 and 2024 Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden, to just name a handful.

IMG_5967.jpg

Formula Ford 1600 Zetec & Duratec Class, 2024

The cars originally ran the infamous Ford Kent engine from the festival's inception right up until 1993 when the 1800cc Zetec engine took over. This change would see a decline in the festival's impact within the motorsport world with declining grid numbers and a lack of public interest in the new engine.

Throughout the nineties and early 2000s, the festival would struggle until the inception of the Duratec engine. A close relative to the Ecoboost engine now found in a majority of Formula 4 cars. This engine would resurface the festival in 2006 when an entry list of over 150 cars would show up across all three engine classes. Kent, Zetec and Duratec.

From 2015 onwards, the Festival reverted to exclusively Kent-engined cars. This restored the Festival to its pre-1993 format and has been solidified into the historic club racing scene ever since in the UK.

Donington Park.jpeg

Donington Park is one of the best tracks to get side by side in these cars. Image Credit: [SIZE=3][I]ott782[/I][/SIZE]

Realism​

This skin pack for the Formula Trainer Advanced model adds some visual relevance to a somewhat overlooked class within AMS2. It features a raft of real liveries with real sponsors and drivers. Each driver has his race suit and helmet recreated and assigned. These seemingly small details greatly add to the immersion factor of these open and exposed single-seaters.

The interiors of the cars are fantastically modelled by the team at Reiza, but these skins add another layer to the class. You do not just have to race these at Brands Hatch, either. Laguna Seca was a particular favourite of mine whilst I was testing these cars extensively. Donington Park was also a highlight.

Formula Ford Wet.jpg

Formula Ford Festival 2006 Whether Simulation

Reliving the exciting Duratec era is what this skin pack aims to do. It consists of car skins as they appeared at the Festival from 2007 to 2011 and includes 27 differing liveries from multiple FF1600 championships, including Benelux and Danish FF Championships, as well as the US division. The majority of the liveries are from the British championship, however.

But what makes these cars especially fun to drive is their handling. Wet or dry, assists or no assists: These cars are lively and want to be thrashed at 100% all of the time. I found myself spending hours just lapping Brands Hatch Indy in the pouring rain and having an absolute blast.

The liveries and the historical relevance of the cars you are driving only add to the enjoyment and immersion. Having real drivers in their period-correct cars and liveries adds such a huge immersion bonus.

Damage & Driving Style​

As previously mentioned, these cars want to be pushed and driven to the 100%. But there is a hard limit. Recovering a spin or finding some grip on grass is nearly impossible with the unsurprisingly low weight figure. When it goes wrong, it goes really wrong. This makes for fantastic racing, especially when the AI starts to get its elbows out.

Formula Ford Crash.jpg

Early retirement for #33 Joey Van Splunteren after an all-AI accident at Brands Hatch

These cars are designed to go wheel to wheel, and whether you decide to recreate your chosen festival year down to the finest detail, or race abroad somewhere else, this pack will give you hours of fun. The quality of the liveries and the closeness of the racing in such an exciting class within AMS2 make for some fantastic moments out on track.

Have you tried the FF1600 mod for AMS2? Let us know how you get on over on X @OverTake_gg or down in the comments below!
About author
Connor Minniss
Website Content Editor & Motorsport Photographer aiming to bring you the best of the best within the world of sim racing.

Comments

Thanks for tipping us off on this. I love the little buzzers. They're one of the few things that can lure me onto pavement, my preference being things that run on dirt, two and four-wheeled.

But Formula Fords? Yep, I like them. I'll be downloading this as soon as I park my Trophy Truck. Many thanks to both the author of the article and the creator of the mod. :)
 
Premium
Thanks for tipping us off on this. I love the little buzzers. They're one of the few things that can lure me onto pavement, my preference being things that run on dirt, two and four-wheeled.

But Formula Fords? Yep, I like them. I'll be downloading this as soon as I park my Trophy Truck. Many thanks to both the author of the article and the creator of the mod. :)
I'm glad i could tempt you away from the dirt, even if it is just for a little bit ;)
 
OverTake
Premium
Gave this a try in VR at Brands Hatch in light rain, and it was an absolute blast. They make for great side-by-side racing, sliding them around is fun as hell, too :D
So I think it's safe to say that it wasn't the last time hopped into the Formula Fords in AMS2.
 
I took a break from the off-road stuff and ran a pile of laps at Brands Hatch, Watkins Glen, and Taruma with this package installed. It's beautiful, really great work.
 
Small nimble openwheelers, my favorite class of racing.
Turns any horrible narrow twisty circuit in to great place to have some proper racing.
 

Latest News

Article information

Author
Connor Minniss
Article read time
4 min read
Views
2,535
Comments
10
Last update

How are you going to watch 24 hours of Le Mans

  • On national tv

    Votes: 147 35.7%
  • Eurosport app/website

    Votes: 116 28.2%
  • WEC app/website

    Votes: 77 18.7%
  • Watch party

    Votes: 26 6.3%
  • At a friends house

    Votes: 9 2.2%
  • At Le Mans

    Votes: 37 9.0%
Back
Top