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13-time champion team exits Formula Ford

THE Australian Formula Ford Series will be without 13-time champion team Sonic Motor Racing Services this year.

Sonic has been pivotal in launching the careers of various Supercars race winners including Jamie Whincup, Will Davison, David Reynolds, Nick Percat, Cam Waters and Anton De Pasquale.

Davison won the team’s first national title in 2001, with its 13th recorded last year via Walkinshaw Andretti United junior Matt Hillyer.

However, team owner Michael Ritter today announced Porsche one-make racing will be its sole focus for 2024, via Carrera Cup Australia and Sprint Challenge.

“We have made the difficult decision that we will not be contesting the Australian Formula Ford Series this year,” he explained.

“Formula Ford holds a special place for myself, Maria and the team. Formula Ford has been the mainstay of our team since our inception.

“This decision has been made for several reasons. We have been considering the direction of the team and business for quite some time and although the decision is somewhat of an emotional one, it was one that had to be made.

“For so long Formula Ford in this country has been the premier junior category and pathway where drivers looking to make a career in the sport either locally or Internationally drivers started their careers.

“Sonic has had great success not only in terms of championship wins but also as a pathway for our drivers to further progress their careers along with many of our mechanics and engineers.

“Unfortunately at present, Formula Ford doesn’t have the visibility or profile it had at its peak and the competition from other categories at this level of the sport has increased dramatically.”

Ritter though is not entirely ruling out a return one day.

“I believe that given the correct backing and direction this can be turned around and I would like to see nothing more than it regain its position as the pre-eminent category in this country for young drivers from karting to transition into circuit racing,” he continued.

“We are really going to miss being in the Formula Ford paddock. It has been a massive part of our lives for 25 years and I’ve built many lifelong friends from the garages of that paddock.

“I will continue to watch Formula Ford from afar and consider our options for 2025 and beyond.

“In the meantime our focus is firmly on our Porsche programs for 2024.”

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