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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 fun".


Burien Imports  13624 Ambaum Blvd. S.W.  Seattle, WA  (206) 242-0166  E-mail Jack

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