Sonic Motor Racing Services will enter two cars in the Victorian Formula Ford Championship in 2021, with Harrison Blanchard and Winston Smith joining the team. Both Blanchard and Smith will compete in all five rounds of the Victorian state championship, while also taking in selected national Formula Ford rounds.
Blanchard is the younger brother of Tim, a former Sonic driver in Formula Ford and the Super2 Series. Together, Blanchard and Sonic won the 2007 Australian Formula Ford Championship. Tim and Harrison’s father John Blanchard is also no stranger to the popular open wheel class, having finished second in the 1992 championship, and continues to race today in historic classes.
“Our Victorian Formula Ford line-up is a great mix of youth and experience,” said Ritter. “Harrison has been doing plenty of miles in historic racing. He is certainly ready to step up to this level and test himself against the young chargers. “Winston has really impressed our team. He is level headed and looks like he has a lot of raw ability. We’re looking forward to seeing his progress through the season.”
Compared to Tim, Harrison, 24, is a late starter to his motorsport career, but has done a number of Formula Ford races in historic classes alongside his father and brother. Smith will contest the Vic series in his first full-time drive in a race car proper. The former karter had selected outings in Formula Vee last year, but due to the COVID-19 situation in Victoria and around the world, he was only able to get a few race meetings under his belt. Smith, 17, will complement his final year of high school at Penleigh and Essendon Grammar with his racing competition in all of the Victoria series, plus selected national rounds.
The opening round of the Victorian Formula Ford Championship will take place this weekend at Sandown Raceway.
Full 2021 Victorian Formula Ford Championship calendar:
Round 1: February 19-21 at Sandown Raceway
Round 2: March 27-28 at Winton Motor Raceway
Round 3: May 15-16 at Phillip Island GP Circuit
Round 4: July 23-25 at Sandown Raceway
Round 5: September 25-26 at Phillip Island GP Circuit
“We’ve done one test day in the dry and one in the wet at Winton, so it hasn’t been a lot of driving in the Formula Ford, but enough to give me a head start,” said Smith. “I’m really excited and I’m looking forward to it. I just want to learn as the weekend goes on and not make any mistakes. Hopefully, that brings a good result, but really, I don’t have too many expectations. Anything can happen, so I’m not placing too much emphasis on results. “I really like Sandown. I raced Formula Vee there last year. I feel I do reasonably well there, so I’m looking forward to going back into the seat and learning the car at that track.”
“I certainly have big Blanchard shoes to fill, but I have not grand expectations for results. I just want to prepare myself well and improve every time I get in the car,” said Blanchard. “I’ve been doing some historic Formula Ford alongside dad and Tim, and that has all been in preparation for a stab at an actual championship. I’m really looking forward to it. “And I have the best team in the field to be a part of, so I know I’m in safe hands. “I know the Kent engined cars really well, and I can run inside the top five in those, so I’m keen to see how I adapt to the Duratec cars. “I’ve never raced outside of Victoria too, so if everything goes well, I’m really hoping to get to a couple of the other circuits around Australia in the national championship.”