Already a success in the U.S., the Honda Formula F engine will be introduced to Canadian racing in 2012, as the 1.5-liter Honda Fit-based power plant has been approved for competition in both the Quebec-based Formula Tour 1600 series and the Ontario Formula Ford Championship.
Developed in 2009 as a modern alternative to the long-out-of-production 1.6-liter Ford “Kent” engine, the Honda Formula F engine is based on the L15A7 engine found in the 2009 and newer Honda Fit. It features a modern, fuel-injected design with superior service life, improved parts availability and lower operating costs.
Equipped with a Honda-developed Engine Control Unit (ECU) and 30.5mm air inlet restrictor, it is designed to match Kent engine performance figures and can be installed in a wide variety of new and existing Formula F chassis.
More than 50 Honda-powered Formula Fs can now be found competing in SCCA Club Racing and two separate SCCA-sanctioned professional race series: The F1600 Formula F Championship Series and the Pacific Formula F Super Series.
In Canada, a total of 61 racers took part in the 2011 Formula Tour 1600 Series at circuits including the historic Mont Tremblant, the Trois-Rivieres street circuit and as a supporting event for the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.
In the neighboring province to the west, the 14-race Ontario Formula Ford Championship featured up-and-coming stars such as Trent Hindman and Mikhail Goikhberg in 2011, as the young drivers tested their skills against veteran open-wheel competitors. Canadian IndyCar stars Scott Goodyear and Paul Tracy are both graduates of the series.