2000 FFR Challenge Series Racer review and pictures

Posted on Tuesday, 28 February 2006 , 11:02:06 byEmil

Filed under Factory 5 Racing

FFR Challenge Series Racer

Not long ago, the editor of Grassroots Motorsport magazine, test drove one regular MkI roadsters for his magazine. He said he felt incredible behind the wheels and this is when they admitted the fact that there was a real need for an affordable, exciting and safe spec racer design. A lot of other race cars and racing programs were started with these same noble goals and yet have not succeeded. The success of the Challenge Series car is attributed to avoiding the pitfalls of high coasts, limited competitive driving opportunities and complicated and unfair rules. Another reason has been the fact that the car is capable of street use, putting it in a multi-use category few race cars share. In April of 2000 the first cars were shipping to the Mid-Atlantic region. Five years later they have built and shipped more than 250 Challenge Series cars and hosted three Nationals Championship Races.

A few years back the editor of Grassroots Motorsport magazine, Tim Suddard, test drove one of our regular MkI roadsters for his magazine. After having spent considerable time behind the wheel, Tim mentioned what a fun and exciting spec racer he felt the FFR design could become with a few changes like a full cage, etc.
From our own racing experiences we were aware that there was a real need for an affordable, exciting and safe spec racer design. FFR owner Dave Smith had just survived a spectacular crash earlier that year and the idea of a one-design racer appealed especially to him. The same feelings were echoed by many of our customers who were actively participating in vintage and replica racing events with their roadsters.

With the 65 Roadster platform we saw a car that could provide that perfect combination of performance, safety, affordability and good looks. It looked straightforward enough. We ended up designing an "every mans" race car. Perfect as a week-end "open track" weapon while at the same time configured for wheel-to-wheel, one-design spec racing.

Lot's of other race cars and racing programs were started with these same noble goals and yet have not succeeded. The success of the Challenge Series car is attributed to avoiding the pitfalls of high costs, limited competitive driving opportunities and complicated and unfair rules. Another reason for the Challenge Series success has been the fact that the car is capable of street use (according to individual state laws), putting it in a multi-use category few race cars share.


In the fall of 1999 we made the decision to give the FFR Challenge Series a go. In November of 1999 we wrote out our goals and in April of 2000 the first of 10 cars were shipping to the Mid-Atlantic region! By mid-summer, news of the program began to leak out. Five years later we have built and shipped more than 250 Challenge Series cars and hosted three Nationals Championship Races!