Auto Action Issue #1739

posted Aug 2, 2018, 11:20 PM by Rachel Lisson

Auto Action issue #1737

posted Jun 14, 2018, 9:34 PM by Rachel Lisson

Auto Action issue#1735

posted May 22, 2018, 7:29 PM by Rachel Lisson

Vees attending Lakeside featured in Auto Action

posted May 3, 2018, 7:31 PM by Rachel Lisson   [ updated May 3, 2018, 7:35 PM ]

Auto Action issue #1734

Yokohama distributed tyre information

posted Feb 15, 2017, 5:37 PM by Ross Campbell

Please see the attached document for the official release from Yokohoma

2017 New Control Tyre

posted Nov 21, 2016, 7:26 PM by Ross Campbell

Formula Vee Australia has selected the Yokohoma AD08R as the new control tyre for Formula Vee.

Full details of this in cluding the tender and selection process can be found on the Formula Vee Australia page.

In Summary:

These tyres will be compulsory for 1600cc Vees and 1200's will have the choice to run the current Hoosiers OR the the Yokohomas. Yokohoma has recommended a 5.5 - 6 inch rim for these tyres.

Tyres are available (Early Jan 2017) through our Yokohoma Motorsport dealer:

Wheelsworld Tyres and More 
4A Carbon Court 
Osborne Park
08 6260 0842

Contact Peter Major on 
0401 807 895

A Summary of the technical changes being implemented are presented below:

Ride Height 
35mm minimum (was 40mm) 

515kg 1600 
500kg 1200 (regardless of which tyre you run)
This is as the tyres are 12kg heavier per set than the current Hoosiers. 

Maximum Width:
Front 1625mm (was 1585)
Rear 1635 (was 1610) as the tyres are wider than the current Hoosiers. 

2016 footprints resort National Challenge 21-23 Oct 16

posted Aug 27, 2016, 5:24 PM by David Campbell

Details of the 2016 National challenge can be found here
Email DC directly for regs and entry forms on

Season 2015 - A pit crew's perspective by Steph Esterbauer

posted Nov 17, 2015, 5:11 PM by Ross Campbell   [ updated Nov 17, 2015, 10:03 PM ]

So my one rule for Franz's motorsport adventures was 'absolutely no open-wheelers under any circumstances'. After seeing a helmet go rolling down the track when a Formula Ford got t-boned a few years ago, I was not having my husband do something that seems to add more danger to an already dangerous sport.


That was, until he came home one day and told me "I want to race a Formula Vee, this is how much it's going to cost". I kept asking questions to find out what expense he was not telling me about because for motorsport it seemed too cheap. After a long discussion, it all seemed legit. And how can you say no to a full year of racing for half the cost of a tarmac rally. Franz's head suddenly didn't seem as important (I'm kidding).


Cameron Edwards had told Franz that Steve Pearson had a Vee that he was willing to lease for the year so we met with Steve, Austin Pearson and Anthony Merton one night and looked over the car. The car was a 1200, and it was available because Austin was stepping up to 1600s. They were super helpful, telling us all about the car and how to drive it fast and which videos to watch on youtube. Well, after seeing how helpful they were, I had certainly changed my tune. We left there with me practically begging Franz to do it.


We went ahead and leased the car, so Franz took it out for a tuning day. He warned me that it's not what he's used to driving and it is his first time in the car so don't expect too much. I was like, "you're Franz, you'll figure it out"! We compared his lap times to recent races on natsoft. Hmmm, not great. I started getting nervous. Had we found Franz's kryptonite?

The first round for the season arrived, and off he goes to qualify for his first race. Of course he qualified fastest 1200. So for the start of race 1, I was pooing my pants. When I said Targa West 2014's Maryville Downs stage scared me, that was NOTHING compared this! They gridded up and off they went, and I realised I had become an instant Formula Vee driving expert, yelling at him from the spectator point. He was ALLLL over the shop, sliding around corners and all sorts, then he went off into the sandtrap at turn 7. I went running down to see how much damage he had done to the car.


I bumped into Kelly Maloney on the way and she asked how Franz was going and I told her that he had just thrown the car off the track trying to be a hero. When I met him in the pits to ask what had happened (and to tell him he's an idiot for going off in his first race), he told me that the throttle was stuck open which is why he was struggling from the beginning, trying to brake while the car was still accellerating. Ooookay, so I may have jumped to conclusions.  Lucky for Franz, there was another incident with the restart after the safety car so that race was cancelled and results didn't count. Phew!


This was where we got our first insight into the Formula Vee 'family' attitude. We were in a bit of a panic trying to find the problem and get him back out for the next race (anyone who knows us will understand how funny it was, us trying to find the problem, because we knew nothing about this car). We called Steve over and he found that when the brake bias is wound all the way to one end, the bolt that moves it gets stuck on the side of the accelerator pedal, so when you use full throttle, it slips over the pedal and it can't come back up. Move the brake bias, problem solved.


Race 2 and 3, Franz finished 2nd in both races (one of them by 0.02 sec) and 2nd for the meeting. Better than I expected after the practice day, but I mean...still first loser!


Round 2, Franz won all 3 races, and therefore won the meeting. NOW we're talking! Mr. "I don't know if I will be any good" had proven me right again. Proud wife right here.


Image by Kirsten Graham

Image  by Kirsten Graham 

Heading into the V8 round, which was the 3rd round for the series, Thinkin'IT came on board as Franz's major sponsor. We unveiled the new bright orange colour scheme that weekend. With the possibility of TV coverage, Franz was pretty nervous. He really wanted to do well.


After qualifying 3rd 1200, a car spun in front of him in the first race on the last corner of the last lap and with nowhere to go, they made contact. Franz's car flew about a metre into the air and when he landed, skidded across the finish line (which luckily, for the V8 round, is at the first flag point on the main straight instead of the usual place further down the straight), finishing in 2nd place. This ended up being both the worst and best thing to happen this season.


Photo by Andrew Graham

My Mum heard me swear for maybe the 3rd time in my life and while I was freaking out she said "it's ok, he's getting out of the car so he's ok". I said "I know, but the car is a mess, he just went flying in it, this is going to cost us a fortune".

 Ok, so I can see a theme here and I feel like I should clarify. I really do care about my husband's safety, but I guess I just feel like he is invincible. And in a normal car, that sort of accident would be maybe $10k of damage? Without knowing how much parts cost for these cars, in my head I was adding up the repair costs as if he had done a jump over another car in his Evo.


When he got out of the medical centre, we saw for the 2nd time how amazing the Vee guys are. Tim "Millsy" Mills (absolute champ!) started pulling the car apart and looking at what was broken. Next minute, we had a swarm of fellow competitors and their crew helping us to pull the broken bits off the car and telling us what parts we needed. We worked out that the 'H-beam' was stuffed and Jason Fowler, the person that Franz was dicing with for 1st before he crashed, gave us the keys to his garage and sent us to his house to get his spare H-beam so we could get back out there. Try and find another class of motorsport where your direct competition goes out of their way to get you back out there to give you an opportunity to try and beat them? This blew my mind.


So Danny Cerro and I jumped in the car and drove 2 hours to Jason's house, and on the way back we were sent on a bit of a treasure hunt. "We need you to stop in at Go Gear Racing Services and Dick Ward has some tube and other bits and pieces for you, then take them to Ktec Autohaus and they are going to make something else with them, and we need you to get brake fluid too, etc". We rushed back to the track and while we were gone the guys had stripped all the broken bits off the car and were waiting for us to arrive with the new bits. There was absolutely NO way we were going to get back out for the 2nd race. But the guys all got to work and the car was all back together with just a few minutes to spare. I nearly cried. I had never seen anything like it.


Franz was strapped in and ready to go because we had just a couple of minutes to get him on the dummy grid before he missed out on the race. We just had to put the gearbox fluid in and we would make the 2nd race. As Millsy started pouring it in, we found out that the force of the landing when he crashed had bent the plates on the side of the gearbox where the shafts come out so the oil was coming straight back out the bottom.


One thing I remember very well was Dave Caisley in his race suit with his hands in Franz's car still trying to work out a way to patch it up while the rest of the field was starting to go out, and he kept trying right up until the last minute when he HAD to get in his car or he too would miss the race. Sadly we didn't make it out, and I was devastated for all the guys who had put so much effort in. The positive side to this is that I got to see alot of the mechanical parts of the car, and I loved that!


Overnight we managed to fix the car enough to get back out for the last race. Franz started rear of field and after a few laps the safety car was deployed and the race was cut short, finishing behind the safety car in 7th place.


We took the car to Gerrykay Mechanical for a major overhaul to get it back to race spec for the next round and, as it turns out, it didn't cost as much as fixing an Evo!


Thankfully after those little incidents, the car was perfect for the rest of the season and carried Franz home in no less than 2nd place in every single race for the rest of the year. That's the Franz I know.


There was great racing all year with my personal favourites being the battles Franz had with both Jason Fowler and Myles Lockett. I just loved watching you guys race.


2015 08 23 - SETS Spring Race Meeting - Race 3 - Close racing

Another thing I love is that I am now able to diagnose some simple issues and keep an eye out for signs that something might not be right with the car. I really have learnt SO much about these little cars this year with the help of Steve and the rest of the Vee guys (I'm not just the "torque wench" anymore). The cars are so basic and everyone has been so patient when I stick my head in while they are fixing something and ask what they are doing, and why and how. So when you combine that with a super friendly bunch of people and good, hard, clean racing, it definitely made for an awesome year of motorsport! I'd say one of the best so far.


So the results. As far as we can tell, Franz has won 3 of the 4 championships for Formula Vee 1200s this year, including the State Championship.


And I am one super proud wife, brolly girl and pit crew. Apart from his 3rd outright in Targa West, I don't think I have ever been more proud of his motorsport achievements. Obviously I think my husband is an amazing driver, and we all know he can jump into almost any car and do well, but for him to take on something so different to what he is used to and still excel, well that is just something else.

 And as for next year? Well the Formula Vee nationals are being held in Perth in 2016, lets see what we can do.

Latest Formula Masters Highlights

posted Jun 15, 2015, 2:01 AM by Rod Lisson   [ updated Jun 15, 2015, 2:02 AM ]

Check out the latest Formula Masters Highlights including one of our favourite FVAWA exports, Aidan Read.
For those newcomers to our site, Aidan raced with us until 2014 and this year has moved on to Formula Masters in Asia.

Formula Masters with Aidan Read

Women in Western Australian Motor Sport.

posted May 10, 2015, 6:35 PM by Rod Lisson   [ updated May 10, 2015, 6:43 PM ]

Story by Rick Henderson.

Here in Western Australia we are often the forgotten state and the talent that we have here is generally overlooked. Talking to drivers of Formula Fords, Tayla Dicker, Formula Vees, Kathy Lisson, Steph Wolfgram and April Welsh, Street Cars, Maggie Waters and others in the Historic Racing categories it is apparent that these are women drivers who deserve recognition.

Steph Wolfgram                        Kathy Lisson    April Welsh


We start with 22 year old Stephanie (Steph) Wolfgram, who started competing in a 1200cc Formula Vee in 2014 and has enjoyed every minute of her time in the hot seat, in spite of a few excursions off the track. She is encouraged by her partner and is assisted by Ross Roberts who has high expectations of Steph. Although she describes herself as a “Girlie Girl” she also admits to being a completely mad motor head. Steph not only has a talent for driving fast cars fast, but has model looks and has even appeared in TV commercials and the fact that it’s a race day doesn’t diminish her appetite for a certain “fast food”


Don’t let the looks and fun loving attitude fool anyone as this is a strong minded, determined young lady. She was influenced by her older brother and by her Grandfather who took the two of them to the speedway and V8's when they were growing up.

Steph’s first car was a Ford Laser which was written off....but she wouldn’t go into details!!! Now the owner of a Nissan Skyline, Steph has been throwing it around the track at Barbagallo’s in Drift practice sessions and is soon to be taking part in the upcoming Drift battles. Steph also owns a Mitsubishi Evo 8, so maybe that will be going round the track too.

Steph works in a high profile job in the CBD in one of the major banks and is grateful to them for allowing her time off for tuning days. She wants to gain more experience in the 1200 Formula Vee before moving into something (unstated) with more power, but did hint that possibly she would like to get into the Street Car racing.


Next, and probably the most experienced of our three lady Formula Vee drivers, is Kathy Lisson. Kathy, is the Office Administrator for her husband’s business, Litech System P/L, who also sponsor her car and is a lady of many talents, especially well known in Formula Vee circles for her Bunnings Sausage Sizzle funds raising antics. With three grown children and determined not to become a Vee widow and seeing how much fun Rod was having racing his 1200 Vee, Kathy decided that she should have a go too, so while Rod moved up to the 1600 class, Kathy took to the track in the 1200, and surprise, surprise, Kathy’s first car was a VW Beetle so it’s no wonder she had an affinity to want to race a Vee.


Don’t let her size or the ever present smile fool you, because under that soft looking exterior lies the heart of a trucker. Kathy learned to drive a heavy rigid truck and has no hesitation in co-driving the LiTech 15tonner across the Nullabor with 6 Vees loaded up all the way to Phillip Island and this year the plan is to drive with 4 up and 4 more on their new purpose built trailer.


In her first season in late 2013 it was a case of perseverance, a little bit of trepidation and a lot of nerves whilst she was being lapped left, right and almost centre as she got used to the car and the idea of going faster. All that drive and determination paid off for her in 2014, and in only her first full racing year, she finished the season 4th overall in WA and 10th overall in the Nationals in the 1200 class, against a field that featured some talented young drivers, and she also won the Kay Prosser award for the lady driver with the most points.


Kathy enjoys her time on the track and is currently trying to persuade husband Rod to build/buy her a new car for 2016 so that youngest daughter Rachel can take over her old 1200 car, so the ranks of the lady drivers will hopefully increase.



Last but by no means least in the Formula Vee category, is the youngest of our 3 drivers, 21 year old April Welsh. April comes from a well known WA racing family, going back to both her Grandparents racing in SA, her father, Bruce, has successfully competed in Vees over the past 21 years and her mother Leeann and brother Connor support her in whatever way they can. Now in her third season racing a Formula Vee. Her start was sharing a car with Kathy Lisson before she took over her father’s 1200. After a shaky start she soon got the hang of holding her racing lines into the corners at Barbagallo’s and down at Collie, instead of letting other drivers push her out of the way.


April has had to put up with a lot since being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of  three and this lead to being taunted at school as other students didn’t understand what she had to go through. In spite of this adversity, and with the total support of her far ranging family, April has come through to the other side an extremely intelligent, charismatic young lady. She is an accomplished public speaker and ambassador for Diabetes WA both here and across the world, and has stood in front of the United States Congress to raise awareness of this illness. Some of April’s achievements include being on the WA Department of Health Youth Advisory Council and Governing Council for Child and Adolescent Health Services; Youth Ambassador, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation which is pretty impressive for someone not long out of her teens.


So, in spite of Uni studies, being on a number of Councils, Boards and Committees to promote awareness of Type 1 Diabetes as well as working part time at ECU, April has successfully competed at the Formula Vee Nationals last November at Phillip Island and rarely missed any race meetings here in WA, wet or dry this plucky young lady is keen to take on the world to show that nothing is going to stand in her way. Still driving her first car, an Opel Astra, she confided that she too learned to drive in a VW Beetle and that her earliest memories are of sitting on her fathers lap at the age of 6 or 7 at the wheel of a Vee....mind she didn’t say whether or not the car was moving at the time!!

It is April’s ambition to gain more experience in open wheelers and ultimately she wants to race Indy cars in the States alongside another T1 driver, Charlie Kimble, thus forming a T1 team with their sponsors Novo Nordisk. April has become heavily involved in promoting Youth Health here in WA and wants to collaborate with the committee of Women of Australian Motor Sport (WAMS) to further encourage the female young in Australia to get involved in all aspects of sport, especially in motor sport.

April is a dedicated and driven young lady who has conquered adversity to follow in the family footsteps into racing and also her work promoting awareness of T1 Diabetes and while she has her serious side, it has been heard on the grapevine that she’s been known to enjoy the “occasional” night out and foreign holiday!!

With three strong-willed female drivers in the 1200 category, the guys know not to mess with the ladies and although there have been a few racing incidents, generally everyone has a great time and is happy to help a fellow competitor out in times of need. 

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