Driver finds fun in smaller cars
Most of the open-wheel racing superstars of the Indy car circuit
at one time or another drove Formula Fords.
Michael Andretti, Danny Sullivan, and the late Ayrten Senna are
a few to have speed around the tracks in the Formula Fords. Jack Scher, on
the other hand, isn't looking for the glory of the Indy cars. He just
drives the Formula Fords for the fun of it. Scher, the owner of Burien
Import Auto, has been having fun at it for over 25 years. Today and
Sunday, he'll be back in the driver's seat for an International Conference of
Sports Car Clubs series race at the Seattle International Raceway.
"Everybody starts out in these things thinking they're going to be worked champions someday," Scher said. "Around here, it's all amateur
racing. There's no money to be made."
Scher started racing the Formula Fords in 1970 and qualified for
the national championships in 1976. His sport hit a major speed bump when
more aerodynamic cars were introduced into the class. The Club Formula
Fords, which Scher drives, were a second or two slower than the modern
cars. For the most part, the Club Formula Fords were parked in the early
1980's. The Club drivers, like Scher, revived the sport creating a class
of racing specifically for the Club cars.
In the past few years, Scher has earned top driver honors in the
International Race Drivers Club, capturing driver of he year honors in
1992. He also won the International Conference of Sports Car Clubs driver
of the year honors in 1993. He's also held records at most of the
Northwest tracks at one time or another. The cars may have slight
differences in their shells, but the engines must all be the same. The
engines produce 110 horsepower propelling the 1,100 pound cares up to 130
mph. A good car will go for $12,000. Maintaining the cars varies
from $300. to $1,000 per race.
While many racers use the Formula Fords as a stepping stone to
the Indy cars, Scher has stuck with the smaller cars. "When you start
getting up with the bigger cars, it's a lot more money," Scher said.
"You're not necessarily going to have more fun. These cars are