FTT – Very Fast Delivery

NEWS & STORIES

Have you ever felt like being in a crazy/cool movie? The one with fast and furious Ford Transit vans? Yep, it’s possible with the Ford Transit Trophy: created only a year ago in Portugal, this unusual competition is going from strength to strength. Last week I popped up in Estoril to watch the opening round of the 2011 FTT campaign and it was well worth it.

(Look, I know the title on top of the page says “Iberian” but I decided to write this post entirely in English to give the Ford Transit Trophy more exposure. Besides, you never know what I might do next, maybe I’ll be “Uncle Norwegian” or “Uncle American” in the future – the latter is very unlikely though…)

Anyway, this single-make championship can be used as a good example of the shape of things to come in Europe: people are starting to understand it’s not necessary to spend millions of euros (if the Euro ever survives!) in order to produce decent racing machinery and hold entertaining races. The concept is very simple indeed, it’s also attractive for potential sponsors who can “maximize the window of opportunity” and get more value for their money. Naturally, if you consider the size of a Ford Transit van, it’s easy to go BIG (literally!) with company logos, etc.. I think “Any Colour You Like” slogan really fits here…

Your typical FTT programme comprises of two races held over the weekend, with each of the 10 teams now having to use not one but two drivers. It does spice things up and (what’s cool) the guys are not afraid to bang wheels or try risky moves. The sad state of some of the vehicles in parc fermé was the confirmation of what I saw on Sunday afternoon. All the on-track action left spectators feeling pretty cathartic; I guess you can’t say the same thing about the mechanics…  Some jaw-dropping incidents probably had a lot to do with the cold temperatures/cold tyres, strong wind on the straights (Estoril’s trade mark) and (the sort of) understeery behaviour of the vans (260S 2.2-litre TDCi/140bhp, if you must know). The jury reached a verdict: we find the show on the level, no improvement needed in that area. FTT delivers the goods (on track or off) and very fast!

As part of the international expansion plan FTT races on Spanish soil for the first time this year: Jarama (28-29/05/2011) and Jerez (15-16/10/2011). Nothing has yet been confirmed, but it should also support the WTCC event in Porto (01-03/07/2011) – let’s hope it’ll be a good opportunity for everybody to check out this new category.

I wish FTT the very best of luck, the sky is the limit…

Photo by Uncle Iberian

Photo by Uncle Iberian

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Pen 2 the Paper & Camera 2 the Eye