In 2009, the popular Ontario Formula Ford Challenge series was staged over six weekends. Competitors score championship points in races held on Saturday and Sunday.

The season kicks off in May at Mosport International Raceway during the BEMC Spring Trophy Races. The next two rounds are part of the DAC Trillium Trophy Races at Shannonville Motorsport Park. Then the series returns to Mosport for a doubleheader event during the High Octane Weekend. In late July, competitors make their way to Calabogie Motorsports Park as part of the MCO Ted Powell Memorial Races. This is followed by two events at Mosport - the BARC Canadian Touring Trophy Races and BEMC Indian Summer Races, when the champions are crowned. The CASC-OR Celebration of Motorsport ends the road racing season in Ontario. It includes a non-championship event, called the CanAm Cup, for Formula Ford competitors.

The single-seater, open-wheel race cars in the 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 a spec tire (Dunlop Formula Ford treaded racing tire).

Driver’s compete in one of three classes:

  • FFA – This category is for newer chassis’ built between 1995 and 2009.
  • FFB – This group is for cars constructed between 1985 and 1994.
  • FFC - Older cars built between 1969 and 1984 collect points in this class. The Swift DB1 is not eligible to compete in the category.

The Celebration of Motorsport weekend played host to the fourth annual CanAm Cup for Formula Ford competitors. This was a non-championship event, but it attracted many drivers from the Ontario Formula Ford Challenge series.

Drivers would compete in two heat races around the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course in an effort to claim the CanAm Cup.

Shane Jantzi won the inaugural CanAm Cup in 2006 and has been victorious every year. 2009 would be no different and he would collect his fourth consecutive cup. Jantzi was fifth fastest in the qualifying session, driving the No. 71 Van Diemen RF02. In race one, he made steady progress and grabbed the lead and victory on lap-9. On Sunday, Jantzi traded the top spot with Dean Baker before claiming the win.
The biggest threat to Shane Jantzi’s quest for a fourth CanAm Cup title was Dean Baker, whose season included five victories. The driver of the No. 52 Baker Racing Van Diemen RF01 was fourth fastest during the qualifying session. He moved into the lead early but finished 0.282-seconds behind the winner Shane Jantzi. In the finale, Baker traded first-place with Jantzi before claiming another runner-up finish.
Eric Nielson didn’t make his first appearance of the 2009 Ontario Formula Ford Challenge series until the final two rounds at the BEMC Indian Summer Trophy Races. He did not deliver particularly good results. The FFB competitor qualified ninth overall and third in his group for race one but finished a distant fifth in class. On Sunday, Nielson fared much better. He moved into the FFB lead on lap-5 and never looked back.
Ontario Formula Ford Challenge veteran Mike Lee competed in the No. 25 Lola T-540E. Based on the vintage of his Lola, he raced in the FFC division. Lee started the weekend’s first contest, eighth overall and second in class. When the fastest qualifier, David Clubine, encountered issues, he inherited the lead and FFC victory. The next day, Lee was unable to match Clubine’s pace and finished in the runner-up position.
There was a healthy field of FFB competitors entered in the CanAm Cup. One of these drivers was the 1991 and 1992 Canadian Formula Ford Champion, Stephan Adams. Adams drove the No. 59 Flagship Racing Services Van Diemen RF92. He qualified third fastest overall and first in class for Saturday’s event and went unchallenged for the category victory. The next day, Adams’ race ended on lap-2.
Britain West Motorsport’s David Clubine hasn’t competed in an Ontario Formula Ford Challenge event since 2005. That year, Clubine won the four races he started. Showing that he hadn’t lost his form, Clubine qualified on the front row for the CanAm Cup, driving an FFC class Crossle 45F. In the first race of the weekend, he finished fifth in his category, but Clubine redeemed himself with a victory on Sunday.
Caitlin Johnston was gridded seventh overall for the start of the weekend’s first event. A last lap pass on Stephan Adams and issues for Mikhail Goikhberg and David Clubine allowed Johnston to capture the final position on the FFA class podium. On Sunday, she dropped down the race order in the No. 68 Van Diemen RF97 but rebounded to cross the finish line eighth overall and fifth in her category.
Mikhail Goikhberg excelled during the wet qualifying conditions and captured the pole position by a margin of 2.719-seconds. Unfortunately, Goikhberg retired from race one on lap-10. He performed much better in the finale. Driving the No. 4 Brian Graham Racing prepared Van Diemen RF01; Goikhberg could not defend his position against Shane Jantzi and Dean Baker but managed to claim a third-place finish.

15A-1Shane JantziVan Diemen RF0214-
24A-2Dean BakerVan Diemen RF0114-
37A-3Caitlin JohnstonVan Diemen RF9714-
43B-1Stephen AdamsVan Diemen RF9214-
56B-2Steve BodrugVan Diemen RF9314-
611B-3Mike TabernerVan Diemen RF9214-
710B-4Ivan GrahamCrossle 65F14-
812A-4Bill TebbuttVan Diemen RF0214-
98C-1Mike LeeLola T-540E14-
109B-5Eric NielsonVan Diemen RF9213-
1117A-5Michel FournieVan Diemen RF0213-
1216A-6Scott BeathVan Diemen RF0313-
1314B-6Ian ScottRay GRS9213-
1415B-7Ken SoederhuysenEuroSwif SE113-
1513C-2Allen CraigheadLola T-54013-
1620C-3Howard FreemanMerlyn MkII13-
1718C-4Rob McClellandLotus 6113-
182C-5David ClubineCrossle 45F13-
1919A-7Kieran MurphyVan Diemen RF0112-
201A-8Mikhail GoikhbergVan Diemen RF0110-

14A-1Shane JantziVan Diemen RF0215-
25A-2Dean BakerVan Diemen RF0115-
31A-3Mikhail GoikhbergVan Diemen RF0115-
410B-1Eric NielsonVan Diemen RF9215-
52C-1David ClubineCrossle 45F15-
65B-2Steve BodrugVan Diemen RF9315-
712A-4Scott BeathVan Diemen RF0315-
87A-5Caitlin JohnstonVan Diemen RF9715-
910B-3Ivan GrahamCrossle 65F15-
108C-2Mike LeeLola T-540E14-
1111B-4Mike TabernerVan Diemen RF9214-
1214B-5Ian ScottRay GRS9214-
1315B-6Ken SoederhuysenEuroSwif SE114-
1420C-3Howard FreemanMerlyn MkII14-
1518C-4Rob McClellandLotus 6114-
1619A-6Kieran MurphyVan Diemen RF0114-
1717A-7Michel FournieVan Diemen RF0213-
1813C-5Allen CraigheadLola T-5408Did Not Finish
1912A-8Bill TebbuttVan Diemen RF027Did Not Finish
203B-7Stephen AdamsVan Diemen RF922Did Not Finish

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