Formula Super Vee


Formula Super Vee

Formula Super Vee was a type of open-wheel motor created to act as a platform for the promotion of VW products, playing much the same role in the 1970s as formulae such as Formula Renault play today. The idea for Formula Super Vee is generally attributed to Josef Hopen, who worked as the Special Vehicles Manager for Volkswagen of America. It was Hopen who sold the idea for the new formula to the SCCA, sanctioning body in the USA, who in November 1969 decided to launch a championship for the new car for the following year, despite the fact that no cars existed at that time.

To assist the launch of the new formula Hopen commissioned Gene Beach, an established constructor of Formula Vee cars, to design and build the first Super Vee and put this car on display at the Daytona 24 hour race. Beach was one of the first three constructors of Formula Vees, along with Autodynamics and Formcar. It is therefore appropriate that a Super Vee designed and built by Ray Caldwell’s Autodynamics concern soon joined the Beach Super Vee. This second Super Vee (the Caldwell D-10) was put on display at the New York Auto Show. Other manufacturers soon followed suit, with Formula Vee constructors such as Zink joined by more mainstream firms such as Lola. John Zeitler also built his first cars around the same time as Beach and Caldwell. As a matter of fact, John Zeitler won the very first Super Vee race at Lime Rock Park in 1970. This race was run with the Formula ford class.

Initially the series allowed 1600cc air-cooled engines of either type 3 (as used in the Beetle) or type 4 (as used in the VW-Porsche 914 sports car), however at a late stage VW had a change of heart and decided that the type 4 engines would be a better option. The type 4 engine is without doubt a better engine. However, this motor was never produced in a 1600cc version so VW decided to produce a "special" 1600cc version through their industrial engines division (the 127V unit), with smaller pistons and barrels, which reduced the capacity to 1600cc.

As with any formula, Formula Super Vee progressed through a number of changes during its life. Initially, for example, the cars ran without wings and used drum brakes at the rear. Later the regulations allowed the use of wings and rear disc brakes. In 1974, 8 inch rear wheels, rear wings, and 34 mm exhaust valves. Since slick tyres had yet to be introduced into racing, the cars ran with treaded tyres initially, but later moved onto slicks.

The original regulations specified a non-Hewland gearbox and cars ran with fixed ratio VW boxes. In Europe a company called Metso began building Hewland-like boxes which provided the ability to change ratios to suit each circuit and exploited the wording of the regulations, which had simply banned Hewland boxes rather than explicitly specifying the fixed ratio VW box. Once the cars started to use Metso boxes the regulations were changed and Hewland Gearboxes were also allowed. This change, combined with start money being offered by Hewland to drivers using its products, effectively put Metso out of business, although the company did build boxes for other formula cars such as Formula Fords.

Much later, engine regulations were also opened up, allowing water-cooled engines from the VW Golf (or Rabbit as it is known in North America). The water cooled engines inevitably replaced the air-cooled, which were rendered uncompetitive, and (at least in the UK) many air cooled cars were converted to accept the water cooled engine. The SCCA in the USA did allow 1700cc air-cooled engines towards the end of the air cooled period, to remain competitive while the water cooled cars joined the grid.

Ultimately the most developed version of Super Vee was to be found in the USA, since they continued with a Super Vee series years after the formula had died away elsewhere. Indeed by the mid-80s Super Vee in the USA had taken over from Formula Atlantic as the feeder formula for Indy cars, often being referred to as the "Mini-Indy" series. In the mid-80s the Ron Tauranac designed Ralt RT5 had a virtual monopoly in the USA series.

The original Formula Super Vee series specifications

* Engine: Type 3 1600cc (actually a stroke of 69mm and a bore of 85.5mm for a displacement of 1582cc). Dry sump not allowed.
* Cooling: air, with external oil coolers and oil filters.
* Carburetion: free, however most used Weber 48 IDA or Solex 40P11 dual downdraft. Some use of Weber IDF and DCNF. (Note: two dual down draft carbs allowed, any manufacturer with dual port VW or aftermarket intake manifolds).
* Transmission: stock VW from the 1969 Square back/fastback series. However, gear ratios were open and almost immediately Webster and Hewland gear sets were adopted for the VW transaxle.
* Ignition: coil and distributor.
* Clutch: VW stock, with Hydraulic linkage.
* Brakes: Girling hydraulic with VW discs front, VW Drums in the rear.
* Wheels: 6" X 13" front and rear. Magnesium allowed.
* Tires: 5:00/8:30 X 13 front, Treaded (no slicks) 5:50/9/20 X 13 rear, Treaded (no slicks)
* Steering: Rack and Pinion
* Suspension: free, front and rear
* Shocks: free, front and rear
* Sway bars: free, front and rear
* Rear uprights: free (and usually proprietary by car manufacturer)
* Curb Weight: Dry, without driver, 825 lbs minimum.
* Wheelbase: free (most manufacturers were between 88" and 94")
* Track, Front/Rear: Up to 92"
* Fuel Tank Capacity: Free, but most manufacturers located the tank under and behind the driver but in front of the firewall, which pretty much limited the capacity to 6.0 gallons.
* Construction: tubular space frame, flat bottom, no wings or tabs to induce downforce.
* Body: any material, but full coverage (including engine compartment) required.

easons

CCA Super Vee (USA)

German Formula Super Vee Championship

External links

* [http://drive.to/FSV Historic Formula Super Vee Register (original site)]
* [http://www.formulavee.org/interchange/viewforum.php?f=17 FSV Forum and classifieds]
* [http://www.supervee.formulavee.org/Historic Formula Super Vee website and registry (new site)]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Super Touring — Super Touring, Class 2 or Class II was a motor racing Touring Cars category defined by the Fédération Internationale de l Automobile (FIA) for national touring car racing in 1993.[1] It was based on the 2 litre Touring Car Formula created… …   Wikipedia

  • Formula Vee — is a popular single seater junior motor racing formula, with relatively low costs in comparison to Formula Ford or Formula BMW.The class is based on a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle, utilizing a collection of the stock parts to form a competitive race… …   Wikipedia

  • Formula Ford — is a single seater, open wheel class in motorsport which exists in some form in many countries around the world. It is an entry level series to motor racing, in which in the past many drivers aspired to one day reach Formula One (today karting is …   Wikipedia

  • Formula Three — Formula Three, also called Formula 3 or F3, is a class of open wheel formula racing. The various championships held in Europe, Australia, South America, and Asia form an important step for many prospective Formula One drivers. Formula Three has… …   Wikipedia

  • Formula Continental — is a single seater, open wheel racing class in motorsport. It replaced Formula C as an SCCA racing class. Formula Continental includes three types of cars.The first are the traditional 1100cc Formula C cars (which have large wings, are allowed… …   Wikipedia

  • Formula One — F1 redirects here. For other uses, see F1 (disambiguation). For other uses, see Formula One (disambiguation). Formula One Category Single seater Country or region Worldwide …   Wikipedia

  • Formula Two — Marc Surer s 1979 Championship winning car Formula Two, abbreviated to F2, is a type of open wheel formula racing. It was replaced by Formula 3000 in 1985, but the FIA announced in 2008 that Formula Two would return for 2009 in the form of the… …   Wikipedia

  • China Formula Grand Prix — Formula Geely Formula Geely chassis …   Wikipedia

  • Mark Smith (American racing driver) — For the English touring car driver, see Mark Smith (British racing driver). Mark Smith Nationality …   Wikipedia

  • Helmuth Koinigg — Datos personales Competición Fórmula 1 Nacionalidad Austriaco …   Wikipedia Español


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.