Simple technology in an affordable race car package.
These deceptively quick open-wheelers combine a purpose built space-frame steel chassis powered by a 1200cc or 1600cc air-cooled Volkswagen (VW) Boxer engine. Driving a 4-speed Volkswagen trans-axle (gearbox and differential in one), VW components are also utilised for brakes and in front and rear suspension. Designed for low ongoing running costs, the VW components are reliable, locally available and easy to maintain – ensuring a Vee remains competitive for many years.
Many current classes of motor sport utilise the latest state-of-the-art machinery that has production cycles of less than 7 years (based on manufacturing cycles), causing substantial cost during a new cycle introduction and making older machinery redundant. The ongoing global popularity of the basic VW components has ensured the category has a solid and consistent mechanical base, encouraging solid resale value even after multiple seasons of use. Due to a strong aftermarket car culture in the USA, an engine can be built with entirely brand-new parts.
This is not to say that Formula Vee hasn’t changed over the years. Quite to the contrary, it has evolved as the original design has been refined. After nearly 40 years of exclusively using the 1200cc engine, the 1600cc engine was introduced in 2003, which mandated 4-wheel disc brakes, set gear ratios and chassis safety upgrades. This evolution spurred a market of new purpose-built 1600cc machines, while many 1200cc cars have been successfully upgraded to 1600cc.
Competition and diversity continues to develop the category. Makes such as Jacer, Rapier, Mako, Stinger, Polar, Sabre, Jabiru and Elfin compete on equal grounds with regulations and controlled specifications designed to emphasise driver ability. Vehicles are eligible Australia wide under unified regulations as enforced by CAMS. To ensure equality and compliance to these regulations, engines and gearboxes are checked and sealed during construction by an approved Formula Vee Sealer.
Below is a simple overview of the specifications:
|Chassis:||Lightweight steel tube frame with roll over protection.|
|Body:||Fibreglass/kevlar body or aluminium.|
|Engine:||1600cc or 1200cc VW Boxer engine.
Blueprinted and balanced with approved F.Vee modifications.
|Transmission:||4-Speed VW transaxle modified for mid-engine mounting. Based on VW 1200, 1300 or 1500 gearboxes.|
|Brakes:||4-wheel disc brakes (optional on 1200cc).|
|Front Suspension:||Volkswagen Type 1 H-Beam re-engineered to suit racing application.|
|Wheels:||15″ x 6″.|
|Tyres:||‘Controlled spec’ Dunlop/Hoosier all-weather, unidirectional, racing tyre.|
|Weights:||485kg(1200cc) or 500kg(1600cc) minimum with driver included.|
While some enthusiasts choose to build a chassis of their own design, there are a wide range of constructors that produce complete ready-to-race packages or kits suitable to your budget and desired input in the construction. Likewise, mechanicals (Engine, Gearbox) can be supplied by these constructors or built by the competitor (under supervision by an authorised Formula Vee Sealer). The resale market is strong, with a wide variety available to suit your competitive level. visit the national websites classified market here.
Maintenance, preparation and tuning are all possible without the need to rely on specialists. However, just like owning a performance road-car, servicing ensures it performs at its peak ability. The level of preparation is really a question of how competitive your desire is. It is possible to run a Vee with minimal work between events, however the front-running crews will invest extensive preparation time to ensure their car is at its peak for the next event.
Various levels of support are available from specialists, who have vast experience and knowledge in Vees.