Formula Vee Australia

FAQ

Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions their related answers.

You need either a 3 layer fireproof suit or a 2 layer fireproof suit with protective underwear, a balaclava, racing boots and fireproof socks, fireproof cloves, and a helmet. A typical motor racing starter kit, including suit, boots, socks, underwear, gloves, and balaclava, start from about $1200. Motorbike helmets are accepted and start at about $400, however many competitors opt for a motor racing helmet starting at about $800. Motor racing helmets typically have smaller view cut-outs resulting in a stronger helmet, and have much higher impact resistent visors, but are illegal for ordinary motor cycle use.

Yes, you need a minimum of a CAMS Provisional Clubman Circuit (PCC) license to race a Formula Vee in circuit races in all states. To obtain the CAMS PCC license, you need to go to a CAMS lecture to learn basic safety rules such as flags, have a medical exam by a nominated CAMS doctor, attend a one day driving observation day in your race car or similar, then pay CAMS fee. Contact your state CAMS office for more information and lecture bookings or visit the CAMS website www.cams.com.au. At this time, a CAMS PCC license is $263 per year. The medical exam will typically cost about $150 depending on which doctor and practice you attend, and the driving observation day will cost around $200 depending on which nominated drive school or CAMS day you attend.

A PCC licence will allow you to race at any state event.

A CAMS National Circuit (NC) licence will allow competitors to race on circuits/events which require a 'National Licence'. From time to time, Formula Vee is invited to participate at these circuits/events, and require a CAMS NC licence. For example, a round of a the V8 Super Cars or Bathurst. A CAMS NC license costs $428 per year.

CAMS licences can be upgraded during the year, so if you start with a PCC you can upgrade to a NC at any time. Allow a good 6 weeks for this processes.

This varies greatly depending on how often you want to race, and how competitive you want to be. A typical social racer, who competes in a 6-round state series will likely spend around $7,000 per year in maintenance costs, which includes tyre purchases, engine rebuilds, crash fixes, race petrol, entry fees, license fees, and accommodation costs. A serious racer who wishes to race at the front of the field, attends 8 races or more each year with perhaps the interstate national challenge race, and who attends a handful of practice days throughout the year, could spend around $15,000 to $20,000 for a season of racing.

You may also consider leasing a drive with a Formula Vee team. Leasing costs vary, dependent on a number of factors. Generally drive and arrive packages start at $3,500 per round.

Yes, old Vee's can be very competitive. The class has remained basically unchanged since its inception, so provided an older car has been updated as rules have changed over the years, then it can potentially run at the front of the field. Its common for cars that are 15 years old to win races.

Rebuild frequency is entirely up the owner. The engines are very reliable and owners typically rebuild engines due to a small drop-off in power rather than for reliability. Most racers will only rebuild an engine once at the beginning of the season if only competing in a 6-round state series. Serious competitors who race more often and want maximum power will typically rebuild the engine at the beginning of the season, then once mid-season as well. A standard 'freshen-up' rebuild could cost anything between $800 and $1500 depending on what work needs to be done, and whether a dyno run is included or not.

Up until 2003, Formula Vee nationally used the 1192cc (1200) VW engine. At the end of 2002 it was decided by CAMS and FVAA to allow the 1584cc (1600) VW engines from 2003 onward. However it was up to each state to phase in the 1600 engine into their competition. New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia all run races for 1600 & 1200 Vees together. Tasmania has 1200 Vee competition only. 1200 Vees will continue to run in all states indefinitely as the 1600 engined cars are introduced.

There is one race meeting each year known as the "Formula Vee National Challenge". It is held in a different state each year. Everyone is welcome to enter the event. Usually, the best drivers from each state attend the event. The Formula Vee National Champion is decided at this event. See the nationals page for more information.

In addition to 'The National Challenge', there is the Formula Vee National Series. This is generally made up of 3 rounds per year, using a range of available circuits around the country. The winner of the series is crowned the Formula Vee National Series Champion.

Both national events award placings to both 1600cc and 1200cc categories

The top speed of Vee's depends on the track. At fast tracks such as Phillip Island in Victoria, or Eastern Creek in NSW, speeds of in excess of 190kph can be reached.

Formula Vee's typically race at all permanent motor racing circuits around Australia each year. Checkout out the track information page for tracks that Vee's have raced at and information such as lap records.

Yes, you must be a member of your state Formula Vee association to race a Formula Vee. Contact your state secretary to request a membership application form.

A typical racer will get between 4 and 6 race meetings per set of tyres. This means that the average racer competing in a 6-round state series will be able to do a full season of racing on one set of tyres. A more serious racer who will race more often, and wishes to have softer rubber on hand may use 2-3 sets of tyres for a full season of racing.

Formula Vee now uses a dry/wet control tyre supplied by Dunlop, these tyres are sold distributed via local arrangement by each State Associations. The category has recently moved from using a control Dunlop Tyres.

Control tyres cost around $1200 per set.

Field numbers depend on the state of competition. In recent years, Victoria and NSW fields have reached the grid limit of up to 46 cars. Whilst SA, TAS, WA, and QLD typically field 15-20 cars at a race meeting.

Entry fees vary depending on the state, track, and event in which you are competing. The fees typically range from $250 to $380 per race meeting. Usually, Friday practice before the weekend's event is also available, again depending on the track, Friday practice costs between $130 and $180.

Contact your state secretary for more information and membership application forms.

Yes, there are several Formula Vee manufacturers in Australia at this time that can make you a brand new Formula Vee. Jacer, Mako, Borland, Stinger, Rapier and Polar all make Formula Vees. Checkout out the commercial classifieds page.

Firstly you need to join your state's Formula Vee association. Then you need to organise a car by either purchasing one, or find a car that you can lease. You should also either organise to borrow, or purchase all the necessary racing attire. Next you should have your CAMS medica examination, and go to the CAMS lecture. Then you need to complete your CAMS driver observation day in your Vee, and if successful, complete your CAMS PCC application form, and obtain your PCC license. Once you have your license, you can enter your first race and go racing! Checkout the new member information sheet.

Up until 2003, all cars where required to use drum brakes from the 1200cc or 1300cc VW. From 2003 onwards, disk brakes of any make are allowed, provided that they utilise single piston calipers, non cross drilled and non ventilated rotors, and comply with the minimum weight per assembly. Any brake pad compound is permitted. Most new cars are built with disk brakes, and some older cars have been upgraded to disk brakes at a cost of approximatley $1500 depending on the brakes used, however there is very little performance difference between disk brakes and drum brakes, and cars with both can race competitively together.

Formula Vee is the perfect step from Karting to full sized circuit racing. Formula Vee is offically recognised by CAMS as Australia's entry level category to open-wheeler motor sport. Formula Vee offers real, safe, circuit racing at a low cost (often less than Karting) without huge startup costs.

Yes, many car owners lease their cars out for practice days, license driver observation days, race meetings, and even full seasons of racing. See the classifieds page or contact your state secretary for more information on current leasing possiblities in your state.

Racing a Vee is easy. All you need is your race attire (suit, helmet, boots, socks, gloves, and balaclava), a simple tool box, 2 fuel bottle, and a tyre pump and good air pressure gauge. Its quite possible for a single person to go racing on the weekend, but pit crew makes life easier, less stressful, and makes a race weekend a whole lot more enjoyable.

The cost obviously depends on the amount of damage, however, relative to other categories of open-wheeler racing, and any other form of circuit racing, crash damage is far easier and less costly to fix. Most suspension components are standard VW parts, so are simply acquired from your local VW performance supplier or wrecker. Wheels and brakes are standard automotive components, and the chassis are a mild steel space-frame chassis, and so can be repaired quite easily if required, although hardly any crashes will inflict chassis damage.

No sponsorship is required to race a Vee, and due to the low cost of racing, most racers totally self-fund their racing. However sponsorship will ease the financial strain if you are lucky enough to obtain any.

Racing usually starts in February/March and can go right through to the end of November or even December each year. Most states run a state circuit series consisting of 6 rounds that count towards the year's state championship. Plus there is the National Formula Vee Challenge and National Series held each year. Most states also run a hill-climb series each year which Vee's can compete. Check out the state calendars.

Some tracks hold weekly or less regular "open practice" days in which any car can compete. Cost for these days is typically $100-$200 depending on the track. Contact your local track for more information. Most race meeting organisers also organise a Friday practice day at the track of the event immediately before the race meeting weekend for racers who want to get some track familiarisation without having to prepare their car and pit crew for a separate day of driving. These Friday practice days typically incur an extra cost on top of the meeting entry fee.

Formula Vee is arguably the most competitive open-wheeler category in Australia. It has consistently by far the biggest fields, and there are far more registered Formula Vee's in Australia than any other open-wheeler category can boast. The low power of Formula Vee's promotes very close racing with packs forming much like with 125cc motor cycle racing. You will see many lead changes each lap in most Vee races, and it is not uncommon for half a dozen or more cars to take the chequered flag within a second.

You need to be 14 years of age (16 in NSW) to hold a CAMS PCC license, which is required to race a Formula Vee in Australia.

Many weekend racers prefer never to leave Formula Vee once they have started, and there are members that have been racing Vee's for over 10 years. Some of the younger or more serious racers progress to Formula Ford, or Formula 3, and some end up with a professional V8 drive. Cameron McConville, Larry Perkins, John Bowe, and Jason Bargwanna all progressed through Formula Vee, and more recently, 2002 Australian Formula 3 Champion and European Formula 3 participant James Manderson was the Victorian Formula Vee Champion in 1999.

It depends on the make of car, but drivers as tall as 193cm or 6'4" have raced Vee's in recent years. Most new cars made from 2003 onwards also take advantage of an increase wheelbase and car length regulation to make it easier for taller drivers to fit into the cars.

You do not have to have any experience at all to start racing a Vee. All you need to do is pass your CAMS driver observation test, and obtain a CAMS PCC license.

Many circuits which run regular "open practice" days do not require the driver to hold any sort of license, however this depends on the track you are practicing at, and you should contact the track for more information.

A Dorian timer is the transponder device required at most circuit races in Australia in order for the race timing system to work. If the car you purchased or leased does not have a dorian timer, you can buy one through Dorian Industries, Factory 1, 29 Graham Court, Hoppers Crossing VIC, 3029. Phone: (03) 9931 1371.

There are a few quick ways for the paddock cruiser or spectator to determine if a car is a 1600 or a 1200 Formula Vee at a glance.

Most State Championship Regulations specify that 1200 Formula Vees should run a 100mm wide pink band on the front suspension and a 1600 car should run a yellow band (unfortunately this is not that strictly enforced).

All 1600 Formula Vees must run disc brakes front and rear so if the cars has drums it is definitely a 1200.

All 1600 Formula Vees run large aluminium dual port inlet manifolds and on narrow cars such as Jacers, Sabres, Stingers & Polars these are exposed from the bodywork.

If you are spectating at an exit from a slow corner the 1600 Formula Vees will appear to jump away from a 1200 Vees with the 1200cc cars typically catching them it at the end of the straight, as 1600 Vees have more power at the lower revs than 1200s but 1200 Vees tend to rev out better than 1600 engined cars.

Unfortunately CAMS rules dictate that all competition numbers must have white backgrounds with black numbers and that the area around the number must be kept clear to assist the officials and timekeepers so that they can quickly identify cars. So unfortunately Formula Vee is not able to do as go karts and motorcycles do and run various colour background and numbers to help the spectators.