The original Formula Enterprises car was a Van Diemen chassis designed for a European spec series. SCCA Enterprises mated it with a 2.3-liter engine that was a joint product of Mazda and Ford, along with an Elite transmission, and created a solid spec formula car that has now been raced for 15 years. But that 2.3-liter engine is no longer produced and supported, so it became time for a replacement. Enter the engine that powers a huge number of spec series, the MZR, and a new class, Formula Enterprises 2.
“We had to do something before we got to the point where we couldn’t provide service,” explains SCCA Enterprises President Robey Clark. “So we started looking into it a couple of years ago, talking with Mazda. We decided on the 2.0-liter MZR motor, which is something Mazda has in their motorsports program and will support now for many years to come. It is basically the same architecture as the 2.3, so it’s a fairly easy update to the car.”
At the same time, the parties involved saw an opportunity to upgrade the transmission as well. The Elite transmission in the car was designed around 140hp; the 2.3-liter engine produced 170, so the transmission was a weak link. A new SADEV sequential gearbox fit the bill, and that transmission is legal in both Formula Enterprises and Formula Enterprises 2. The two classes will co-exist in SCCA’s national level for one more season; after 2019, the 2.3-liter will only be eligible for SCCA regional competition. So far, Enterprises has sold more SADEV transmissions than 2.0-liter engines, but Clark says he expects that to change now that the Runoffs has passed.