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Champcarman
V8 Champion


Australia
1400 Posts
joined 29 Jan 03

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Posted - 01 Nov 2008 :  10:45:45  Show Profile  Visit Champcarman's Homepage Send Champcarman a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Having Will Power and Scott Dixon on the front row at the Indy 300 got me thinking again about why we ditched Formula Holden as our main open wheel category.

These two guns were both FH Champions and slotted into powerful European and US open wheel machinery with ease.

I don't think F3 prepares our young drivers for future careers, be it overseas or in V8s here, anywhere near as well as FH did.

These were powerful and difficult cars to drive and most of the drivers who did well in them had no problems when they went to drive the less demanding V8 Supercar.

A modern version using an DOHC V6 with a chassis like a GP2,Renault V6 or Indy Lights would be good thing nowadays I reckon.

And maybe Australian motorsport needs it!

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xtreme
Fujitsu Driver



Australia
678 Posts
joined 27 Feb 07

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Posted - 01 Nov 2008 :  17:38:44  Show Profile  Visit xtreme's Homepage  Click to see xtreme's MSN Messenger address Send xtreme a Private Message  Reply with Quote Copy this URL to Link to this Reply
I agree that FH was a good category in its golden age but it failed for so many years until it finally died. They tried getting people to put the newer engine in them and I think Holden even helped with the costs of the engines iirc? Probably didnt help that by the end the newest chassis was 7-8 years old. Would be good to see them now and what sort of times they would be doing. Openwheelers have really struggled here recently apart from FF but seeing Renault V6 or GP2 or the talked about new F2 would be interesting here...especially around the Island!!! We can only dream Champcarman! Imagine what could have been had there been 4-5 new chassis and some bigger sponsors around the time R.Kelly was in it, if not earlier.

Edited by - xtreme on 01 Nov 2008 17:41:06
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SuperMono
Formula Ford Driver


459 Posts
joined 02 Oct 08

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Posted - 01 Nov 2008 :  19:42:00  Show Profile Send SuperMono a Private Message  Reply with Quote Copy this URL to Link to this Reply
Biggest issue I had with the FH series (aside from generally small field and limited competition) was the lack of perceived speed; they sounded flat and were driving around in top gear most of the time (so no sense of acceleration). A few goes at getting a more exciting exhaust note helped, but it was all a bit late by then.

The current F3 series isn't brutal enough to get spectator support, so where to next?
Sandown for the historics, Tasman and F5000 :)

I miss my open wheelers :(
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race-torque
BANNED




Australia
301 Posts
joined 27 Oct 03

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Posted - 02 Nov 2008 :  16:09:45  Show Profile Send race-torque a Private Message  Reply with Quote Copy this URL to Link to this Reply
FH Failed, mainly, because it had no international relevance. Drivers would go overseas and tell teams that they had won in Formula Holden. Teams they were telling would go "Eh?".

And also the fact that any commercial clout the series had disappeared when Holden pulled any direct support.

F3 is the most internationally relevant category in Australia as it runs the same specifications as the Euro, British and Japanese F3 series.

This is the reason internationals like Bruno Senna, James Winslow, Marco Mapelli, Ben Clucas and Charlie Hollings - and recently John Martin -have in the past two years come to race F3 here.

Plus, any 'bigger' open wheel series would end up being even more expensive than F3 to run - and F3 isn't a huge amount more (Relatively) than FF with a top team. The market can barely support it at the level it is, let alone have another series.

F3 is stronger here than ever before and is growing quietly but methodically. Sadly initiatives like the Rising Star bypass it and send young drivers overseas to British F3 where they find themselves unprepared. A season here first, at 1/4 the cost, would seem more logical.

IMHO, Sadly, we exist in a market completely dominated by Touring Cars and there is not the public interest in Open Wheel racing to grow it to a level where fans would like to see it be.
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laser
Administrator



Australia
17365 Posts
joined 01 Aug 01

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Posted - 02 Nov 2008 :  16:53:18  Show Profile  Visit laser's Homepage Send laser a Private Message  Reply with Quote Copy this URL to Link to this Reply
And here I was thinking the topic was Formula Holden

Formula Holden is as internationally relevant as V8 Supercars are really. Overseas teams may actually know what V8 Supercars are, but you have to come to Australia to drive them. FH cars were awesome in the day, and from memory they were the fastest open wheelers in Australia, F3 pales in comparison.

  
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Madaz
Team Manager



Australia
5058 Posts
joined 21 Mar 07

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Posted - 02 Nov 2008 :  20:09:56  Show Profile Send Madaz a Private Message  Reply with Quote Copy this URL to Link to this Reply

With Holden cutting back on their the amount they are investing in motorsport, I think we can confidently say Formula Holden won't be coming back anytime soon.

So Formula 3 is the best we've got. I reckon it's a great category. The cars are really fast - about 5 seconds a lap faster than a V8 supercar around Eastern Creek.




2019 Fantasy League Tournament Champion
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tejay
Transporter Driver



7 Posts
joined 13 Nov 03

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Posted - 13 Nov 2008 :  07:17:45  Show Profile Send tejay a Private Message  Reply with Quote Copy this URL to Link to this Reply
Formula Ford in Australia is more relivant internationally than Formula 3. The cars are the same spec (current) model as run in the UK, and the series is competative. A kid who's been made with Formula Ford in Australia is competative in British Formula Ford, F3 has yet to prove that, and never will in my opinion.

The arguement that F3 is relatively the same cost to Formula Ford in Australia is rubbish. People who think that are comparing Apples and Oranges. Running an F3 car per mile cost 5 times as much as Formula Ford (obviously ball-park). Thats the bottom line. Sure there are people running, even winning F3 championships in Australia for anything from between half as much as a Formula Ford winning budget (the good drivers) to a litte more than a Formula Ford winning budget (the not so good drivers), but thats because the mileage is a fraction of what you get for you budget in F3 relative to Formula Ford. If F3 was done properly in Australia, with enough testing to actually allow a young driver to develop his skills, then it would quite simply cost at least 5 times as much as Formula Ford.

But a budget like that isn't sustainable for a 'development' open-wheeler series in this country, because there aren't enough people or companies around willing to through that sort of money at a driver in order for them to drive in a largely unpublicised series, then shoot off over seas never to be heard of again. Thats why the budgets are as low as they are in F3 here, and thats why it doesn't develop any talent.

In the UK and typical F3 budget is at least 5 times that of a typical Formula Ford budget, with comparable number of days in the car.

One of the reasons F/Holden died, is because it started to become a 'development' series for open wheeler drivers, rather than an outright top series in this country. During its hay-day, it was considered a rival to touring cars (although obviously not as popular), but then it because a pathway to v8 supercars, or other forms of open-wheelers overseas. Thats largly due to v8supercars taking the majority of the fan base in this country. Formula Holden was expensive when done properly, and the interest for funding in dried up!
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Trev
Team Manager



Australia
5901 Posts
joined 13 Feb 03

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Posted - 13 Nov 2008 :  07:41:29  Show Profile  Visit Trev's Homepage Send Trev a Private Message  Reply with Quote Copy this URL to Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by laser

Formula Holden is as internationally relevant as V8 Supercars are really. Overseas teams may actually know what V8 Supercars are, but you have to come to Australia to drive them. FH cars were awesome in the day, and from memory they were the fastest open wheelers in Australia, F3 pales in comparison.

Here here Laser, I agree.

I am a strong Ford man, but those Formula Holden, or as they later became known Forumla 4000 were great to watch, bloody quick cars, actually one of them holds the lap record at Winton. I thought the V6 Holden/Buick motor was a world wide motor?

Mind you the sound of the Forumla 5000 was/is something to behold.

But as has been said here, in Australia it is all about touring cars, but having said that, I am a fan of tin top racing over open wheelers, but when the FH/4000 or the F5000 hit the track I would pay attention.

F3 are over-rated and INMHO a bunch of prima-donnas. They don't come to Winton anymore, but that is a whole different story and for another thread.

I reserve the right to arm bears

Edited by - Trev on 13 Nov 2008 07:44:14
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willsy
V8 Taxi Driver



Australia
3165 Posts
joined 21 Nov 07

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Posted - 01 Feb 2011 :  13:34:43  Show Profile  Visit willsy's Homepage Send willsy a Private Message  Reply with Quote Copy this URL to Link to this Reply
I missed this topic...

Formula Holden still remains the most enjoyable cars I have ever driven. F3's are fun, but do not take your breath away like an old Formula Holden did.

I feel more the reason why they died off was when my old team boss, Malcolm Ramsay left from running the series, and a lot of the work he did was not able to be successfully repeated. He was a fantastic leader for the category, and put his heart and soul into it, plus he had his own personal wealth to help prop up the series if there was any issues that arose. He never liked to chip in his own money, but he loved the category and did what it took to make it work. It was a shame he left, I think it was to do with the other team bosses in the series, feeling aggrieved at the poor job he was being perceived to be doing in their eyes. Malcolm had a passion, but this was waning when he was being left feeling that it was all for no respect, (this is my opinion...)

Once he left, the series support dried up, Holden may have left, though the series was still really cost effective. I ran for nearly the same budget as the top formula ford guys were, which goes in some way in showing the affordability. The New Zealand series was excellent, we had Craig Lowndes, Scott Dixon, Greg Murphy and some good Europeans race, making the series really credible. Just as it was all gaining momentum, Malcolm was looking for a way out. Once he got out, it seemed that the guys who took over from within the sport, then realised what sort of job he did do for it all, and could not sustain it.

The tough part was sourcing new cars, as the old F3000 tubs were getting old, and Japan was seen as a good alternative with the Formula Nippon Chassis. Getting a couple of year old chassis was very cheap, as the teams had nowhere else for them to go, and they had a multitude of parts. Malcolm went over and met with them, and came back with a container load of excellent spares for next to nothing, so it seemed the obvious next step. A relationship had started, but it never continued on.

Realistically the cars are designed for more open flowing tracks than in Australia, and with the overseas tracks becoming further away from the Aussie ones, it would be tough to keep cars that are developed for a completely different layout, viable for here. I myself tried talking Malcolm into sourcing the F3000 engines and detuning them, or a basic V8 to be kitted for it, though he felt the speeds would be a danger to some of the less experienced drivers, which he was right really.

It was a real shame to see them go, but all things do at some stage. I am really keen to get a 94 Reynard down the track and get it going again, in fact we have one in our workshop at the moment. I just have to lose some weight and I could maybe talk him into letting me have a go! Fingers crossed...


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rusty3908
BANNED



2016 Posts
joined 28 Jan 11

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Posted - 01 Feb 2011 :  14:30:21  Show Profile  Visit rusty3908's Homepage Send rusty3908 a Private Message  Reply with Quote Copy this URL to Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by willsy

I missed this topic...

Formula Holden still remains the most enjoyable cars I have ever driven. F3's are fun, but do not take your breath away like an old Formula Holden did.

I feel more the reason why they died off was when my old team boss, Malcolm Ramsay left from running the series, and a lot of the work he did was not able to be successfully repeated. He was a fantastic leader for the category, and put his heart and soul into it, plus he had his own personal wealth to help prop up the series if there was any issues that arose. He never liked to chip in his own money, but he loved the category and did what it took to make it work. It was a shame he left, I think it was to do with the other team bosses in the series, feeling aggrieved at the poor job he was being perceived to be doing in their eyes. Malcolm had a passion, but this was waning when he was being left feeling that it was all for no respect, (this is my opinion...)

Once he left, the series support dried up, Holden may have left, though the series was still really cost effective. I ran for nearly the same budget as the top formula ford guys were, which goes in some way in showing the affordability. The New Zealand series was excellent, we had Craig Lowndes, Scott Dixon, Greg Murphy and some good Europeans race, making the series really credible. Just as it was all gaining momentum, Malcolm was looking for a way out. Once he got out, it seemed that the guys who took over from within the sport, then realised what sort of job he did do for it all, and could not sustain it.

The tough part was sourcing new cars, as the old F3000 tubs were getting old, and Japan was seen as a good alternative with the Formula Nippon Chassis. Getting a couple of year old chassis was very cheap, as the teams had nowhere else for them to go, and they had a multitude of parts. Malcolm went over and met with them, and came back with a container load of excellent spares for next to nothing, so it seemed the obvious next step. A relationship had started, but it never continued on.

Realistically the cars are designed for more open flowing tracks than in Australia, and with the overseas tracks becoming further away from the Aussie ones, it would be tough to keep cars that are developed for a completely different layout, viable for here. I myself tried talking Malcolm into sourcing the F3000 engines and detuning them, or a basic V8 to be kitted for it, though he felt the speeds would be a danger to some of the less experienced drivers, which he was right really.

It was a real shame to see them go, but all things do at some stage. I am really keen to get a 94 Reynard down the track and get it going again, in fact we have one in our workshop at the moment. I just have to lose some weight and I could maybe talk him into letting me have a go! Fingers crossed...



I was a pretty massive fan of yours' back in the day Willsy when you were driving those FHs

Thanks for that Madaz
Another cheap shot by a Ford fan whose immunity to punishment is unbelievable
All the best to the following: HDT, Hypno, Crikey, Skaifeman, Willsy, Donkman
Go Holden, Souths and the Cats
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willsy
V8 Taxi Driver



Australia
3165 Posts
joined 21 Nov 07

 offline

Posted - 01 Feb 2011 :  18:02:58  Show Profile  Visit willsy's Homepage Send willsy a Private Message  Reply with Quote Copy this URL to Link to this Reply
Cheers, I really liked them, and found the speeds and the downforce made the driving really demanding. They were really tricky to get right, and I was brought up through single seaters, through racing them in Europe, so going to V8's wasn't really what I was into, but the logical progression here in OZ.


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