Shell Helix spokesperson, Denis Urtizberea, said he was proud Shell Helix supports grass roots motorsport.

“We know Formula Ford is a great junior development category as 10 current Supercars drivers are former national Formula Ford champions,” said Denis.

“The sponsorship means throughout the 2017 Formula Ford series, all cars will use and benefit from Shell Helix Ultra,” he said.

“Prizes for standout performers at each round will also be awarded – up for grabs this weekend are Coles Express vouchers for the best performing rookie driver and the Kent Class winner.”

The Shell Helix sponsorship of the Formula Ford series closely follows, and complements, Shell’s existing support for the Shell V-Power DJR Team Penske Supercars team as well as the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.

“Shell’s expansive sponsorship support also offers young Formula Ford drivers unique experience such as meeting the drivers from the Shell V-Power DJR Team Penske Supercars team – Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin.”

Formula Ford competitors Jayden Ojeda, Hunter McElrea, Harrison Jones and Mitchell Maddren toured the Shell V-Power DJR Team Penske garage at Winton, being treated to an up-close look at the team’s Supercars by Coulthard and McLaughlin.

“It was a great chance to meet Scott and Fabian – they both raced Formula Ford and have progressed to the very top level of Australian motorsport,” Ojeda said.

“A lot of us are hoping to forge a career in Supercars, and support from companies like Shell Helix creates opportunities for us to meet the people we look up to.”

The Australian Formula Ford Series will stage three races across the weekend.

About Shell Helix

For more information on Shell products or sponsorship of the 2017 Australian Formula Ford Series, the Shell V-Power Racing Team and fuel sponsorship for the Australian Supercars Championship visit www.shell.com.au

About Formula Ford Australia

Formula Ford has a coveted history of producing motor racing stars. The majority of Formula One stars, both past and present, began their top-level careers in Formula Ford. World Champions, including Ayrton Senna, Jacques Villeneuve, Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher and Mikka Hakkinen, first came to attention during their junior years in Formula Ford.

Australia's current Formula One stars, Mark Webber and Daniel Ricciardo, began their top-level career in Australian Formula Ford, and among the current Supercars field, 10 drivers won the national Formula Ford title.

In 2017, national Formula Ford is divided into two classes. The outright cars run in the Duratec Class, and a powered by control, fuel-injected 1600cc motors out of the Ford Fiesta road car. These engines were introduced to the national series in 2006 and with all the engines coming from a single supplier, performance is equalised while costs are contained.

There is also the Kent Class for cars powered by the older-generation carburetted engines that were employed in a number of 1970s Fords, including the Escort. There are still a healthy number of Kent Formula Fords in action, some competitors using it as an entry point into the category before progressing to a Duratec vehicle.

For more information, please visit www.formulaford.org.au.

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