The move from karts to cars can be intimidating and confusing. Open-wheel or GT cars? Single-make series like the Global MX-5 Cup, or something wide open like the Lucky Dog Series? Then, of course, the consideration of budget. For Daniel Demaras, Briggs & Stratton karts is all he’s ever raced, so entering a series that would allow him to use his experience drafting in low-horsepower equipment would be idea. Formula 1200 seems to check all the boxes.

F1200 is an open-wheel, single-seat, racing series that has been competing for over 50 years. The strict formula rules are designed to promote driver development. A budget F1200 racer with an average mechanical ability can do routine maintenance and come to the track without a crew and be competitive using the same car year after year.

Canadian F1200 drivers compete in the VARAC scheduled events by racing in the formula classic group. The six race weekends make up the Canadian Formula 1200 Championship and are totaled for the final championship’s standings.

Racing costs are low because rule changes are rare, the F1200 racecars are rugged, inexpensive Volkswagen parts are used, as are spec Falken radials that last a season or more. The cars have improved a great deal over the years, but their strength is that the basics haven’t changed. Major modifications are time consuming, expensive and usually reduce reliability.

Competitor’s ages vary from teenagers to veterans. Racing is so close that often 3 or 4 cars finish within a second of one another providing an unparalleled learning experience per dollar spent for young drivers and excitement for all competitors. F1200 is a driver development class rather than a car development class.

The Series

The FTDA (Formula 1200 Drivers Association) organizes 6 race weekends held at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP) and Shannonville Motorsports Park (SMP). To qualify one must be a member of a recognized racing club as well as the FTDA. A race weekend will usually consist of qualifying and 3 races. The races are usually 20 to 30 minutes in length. Although the cars can reach speeds in excess of 200 km/h, the series emphasizes the driver ability rather than the car.

It is about 90% driver and 10% car.

Car Specs

  • Class based on 1200 cc VW
  • Front Suspension, Transaxle, Engine, based on VW
  • Wheelbase: 83.5 inches
  • Track (front): 54.5 inches
  • Track (rear): 51.5 inches
  • Length: 127 inches
  • Minimum Weight: (including driver) 1050 lbs
  • Gears: 4 forward 1 reverse (stock VW ratios)
  • Engine 1200cc – air cooled VW
  • Bore: 77mm
  • Stroke: 64mm
  • Maximum RPM: 6500
  • Horsepower: 56 HP to 58 HP
  • Top Speed: 200 km/h +
  • Tires: 195/60 R14 Falken
  • Wheels: 14 inch x 6 inch

Most of the information above was provided by but in the United States another good resource to learn about Formula 1200, or Formula Vee as it’s called south of the border, visit.

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