With the Canadian Formula Ford Series’ demise, the importance of regional championships became much more important. In Quebec, that void was filled by the Formula Ford 1600 Hankook Championship.

The 2004 Quebec Formula Ford 1600 Hankook Championship kicks off in early May at Autodrome St-Eustache. Next, the teams head to Sanair for the Grand Prix de Sanair. Then the series returns to Autodrome St-Eustache for round three. This event is followed by two non-championship race weekends. The first is held at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres and the second as a support event for the Molson Indy at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. These events are followed by a second visit to Sanair. The season ends in late September at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant.

The single-seater, open-wheel race cars in the Formula Ford 1600 Hankook Championship are powered by a four-cylinder, 1600-cc Ford engine, which produces120-horsepower. A mixture of European and North American chassis is used by competitors. Two of the most successful cars are constructed in Canada – the Aero and CMV. Minimum vehicle weight is determined by the suspension design and ranges from 1050 to 1125-lbs., with the driver. Teams are required to use fuel from Imperial Oil (Esso) and a spec tire (Hankook Z2000).

The first of two non-championship events for Quebec Formula Ford competitors were held at the thirty-fifth running of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres. Drivers would compete on the eleven-turn 1.53-mile temporary street circuit for twenty-five-laps.

After several attempts, Didier Schraenen would score his first Formula Ford victory at Trois-Rivieres. Trois-Rivieres was the first event of the year for the 1998 and 1999 Canadian Ford Formula champion. Despite missing the first three rounds of the Quebec Formula Ford 1600 series, Schraenen was on form. He captured the pole in the No. 94 Dynatech / Radio Energie sponsored CMV and led flag-to-flag.
Finishing in the runner-up spot, 7.389-seconds behind the winner, Didier Schraenen, was Mathieu Audette. Audette, the son of Quebec racing veteran Francois Audette, drove the No. 12 Portes Dimensions sponsored CMV. He started this year’s campaign with two runner-up results and a DNF at the second Sanair event. At Trois-Rivieres, Audette qualified second fastest and chased Schraenen for twenty-five-laps.
A new season and a new car for Olivier Lambert. Lambert proved he was a hot commodity when he won the doubleheader at Trois-Rivieres last year, driving an ancient Van Diemen RF92. In 2004, he was piloting the No. 8 Harfang 2000 with backing from Pierquip and NSK Canada. Entering Trois-Rivieres, Lambert had won two of the three Quebec races. This weekend, he would qualify fifth and finish third.
One of the title contenders for this year’s Quebec Formula Ford 1600 Hankook Championship was Michel Bonnet. Bonnet teamed up with LM Scuderia driving the No. 6 Damafro sponsored Vector MG-93. After three rounds, he had one pole position and two podium results. At Trois-Rivieres, Bonnet was off the pace and qualified eleventh fastest. During the race, he overcame his starting position and finished fourth.
One of the other quick competitors in the 2004 Quebec Formula Ford 1600 series was Philippe Gelinas. Gelinas raced the No. 34 Skip Barber Racing School Reynard 87SF. Despite the car’s vintage, he was victorious in round two at Sanair. He recorded the third-fastest time in the qualifying session at Trois-Rivieres, but like his previous outing at Autodrome St-Eustache, he was unable to finish the contest.
Remy Audette, the brother of Mathieu, was also competing in the Quebec Formula Ford 1600 Championship. He was driving a car similar to his brother, No. 21. After three rounds of the series, Audette has two podium results. He had a third-place finish at Sanair and was the runner-up in race three at St-Eustache. Trois-Rivieres would not be one of the highlights of his season; he finished sixteenth.

11Didier SchraenenCMVDynatec25-
22Mathieu AudetteCMVPortes Dimensions25-
35Olivier LambertHarfang 2000NSK Canada25-
411Michel BonnetVector MG-93LM Scuderia25-
518Francois BellemareVan Diemen RF90Thomas Bellemare25-
69Olivier BonnetVector MG-93LM Scuderia25-
78Hugo LafontaineVan Diemen RF94Max 160025-
87Steve PickeringVan Diemen RF97Transmission Unlimited25-
916John WagnerVan Diemen RF97Perromax Racing24-
1012David ThileniusVan Diemen RF98Corsa Motorsports24-
1113Marie-Laurence PaquinVector MG-93LM Scuderia24-
1220Charles FosterEuroSwift SC92Foster & Comp24-
1314Rodney KendallCrossle 45F-24-
1417Serge BourdeauVan Diemen RF01Excellence Motorsport24-
1521Patrick SweeneyVan Diemen RF86RPM23-
164Remy AudetteCMVPortes Dimensions23-
1710Christopher RobsonVan Diemen RF98John Watts Associates22-
1822Eric Van PeperstraeteVan Diemen RF01Excellence Motorsport22-
1923Yannick BourdeauVan Diemen RF01Excellence Motorsport22-
2024Eric WannonVan Diemen RF94Team Scalzo21Did Not Finish
213Philippe GelinasReynard 87SFEquipe Multi Pret Hypotheque12Did Not Finish
2215Ludovic GerardiVan Diemen RF94Max160011Did Not Finish
236Olivier ComeauVan Diemen RF98Equipe Multi Pret Hypotheque10Did Not Finish
2419Franc RoironVan Diemen RF97Max16006Did Not Finish
--Richard LegaultVan Diemen RF75MECA COMP-Did Not Start

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