SCCA and SCCA Enterprises announced the new Formula Enterprises 2 class a few months back, and now the first cars are showing up in U.S. Majors Tour competition around the country. The original Formula Enterprises car is a Van Diemen chassis with an engine that was used in Ford and Mazda vehicles. That engine, however, is long out of production, thus necessitating a new powerplant. Mazda’s tried and true MZR engine, a version of which is used in everything from NC MX-5s in Touring 4 to the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship to the Mazda RT24-P prototype in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship, was an obvious choice. Paired with a ZADEV sequential transmission, the new package is a substantial improvement – and it’s surprisingly easy to make the conversion.
“It’s a really nice kit,” says Kevin Kloepfer, CEO of Comprent Motor Sports, a prep shop that specializes in formula cars and sports racers. “Enterprises did a really nice job; it’s just about a bolt-in. It’s probably about a day-and-a-half to do one. It’s pretty straightforward – you get a new wiring harness, ECU, everything…. Where we used to have to adjust the fuel pressure to optimize our Lambda, it now has a closed-loop system.”
The SADEV transaxle, which includes no-lift shift and auto-blip capabilities, is an option for both the FE2 and original FE cars. Formula Enterprises will be allowed to run through 2019, but after that all cars will be required to make the switch. Todd Vanacore, one of the first to make the conversion with Comprent, says the new engine and transmission are good enough that most will want to upgrade sooner rather than later. “I was pleasantly surprised at the performance,” said Vanacore, who won the Sunday race at the 2018 VIR SCCA Hoosier Racing Tire Super Tour. “It’s supposed to be 12-14 more horsepower. At VIR I was consistently two to three seconds a lap quicker than I was in the FE. It’s quite a package, and as far as I’m concerned, it was well worth the wait.”