FROSTY’S & RICHO’S SPECTRUM REUNION
FPR V8 Supercar drivers Mark Winterbottom and Steve Richards were recently reunited with the category and the manufacturer that kicked off their respective car racing careers when they got behind the wheel of some Spectrum Formula Fords at Calder Park Raceway.
For Frosty, the reunion was particularly special as he was reacquainted with his 2002 Bosch Batteries Spectrum 09, the car in which he won Rookie of the Year and was runner up in his first attempt at the Ford Racing Australian Formula Ford Championship. The car has just completed a pain staking ground up restoration at the Braeside factory of Borland Racing Developments.
While Mark took his old steed out for a run, Richo seized the opportunity to sample the latest evolution of Formula Ford, in the form of the Muzz Buzz Spectrum 011d. From 2006 the category has been powered by the 1600 cc Ford Fiesta engine, which makes around 100 kW as fitted to the racing cars. After returning to the pits, Mark was quick to step into the Muzz Buzz car to see how different it was from his older model.
The two drivers were all smiles as they emerged from their cars. “That was so much fun,” said Richards. He added, “I haven’t driven a Formula Ford since I stepped out of my car at the end of 1994. I’d forgotten how great they are to drive. The new engine seems to be much smoother and have more torque than I remember.”
It has been somewhat more recent for Winterbottom, but he has done a lot of V8 racing since then. “That was awesome,” he said of his time in both cars. “It was great to get back into the Bosch Batteries car. How good are the brakes in these things? That was probably the thing that surprised me the most; I’d love it if we could stop our V8 Supercars that well!”
Both drivers remain appreciative of the role that Formula Ford and Michael Borland have played in their motor racing careers. “When I started racing cars in 1991, it was Mike who gave me an opportunity to run his Spectrum 04. I’ve never forgotten that and it has been pleasing to see the success he has had with his cars not only here, but also in the UK. The Spectrum 011d is as good as or better than any car built around the world,” said Richards.
“I had some support through winning the Ford KartStars program,” Winterbottom said. “But we were still struggling for budget and it was Mike that put the Bosch Batteries deal together and if it wasn’t for that, then I’m sure we wouldn’t have been able to achieve what we did. The further I have progressed in my career, the luckier I realise I was to be associated with Mike and his team when I started racing cars,” he added.