The Ray FF1600 joined iRacing this season, here's a guide on driving it

iRacing Ray FF1600 Car Guide

iRacing

A new open wheeler joins iRacing this season and it is sure to be popular. Here’s our guide on getting the most out of the iRacing Ray FF1600.

Image Credit: iRacing.com

With the new season of iRacing comes a new batch of popular cars set to entertain the masses. None more so than the free-to-own Ray FF1600, essentially a Formula Ford open wheeler.

Free to all iRacing members and available to race as low in the ladder as Rookies, the single seater is sure to attract many in the opening weeks. Whether it be in the 12-minute fixed setup Rookie races or the 20-minute open setup D license battles, players can count on several splits being open.

As many iRacers attempt to compete in these beginner-friendly challengers, everyone will be looking for the upper hand. What better way to hit the ground running than to know all of the car’s unique characteristics. Here’s our guide for the Ray FF1600 in iRacing.

Ray FF1600: Getting to Grips

The Ray FF1600 in iRacing is the simulator’s representation of a Formula Ford racer. Much like the game’s Formula Vee, it’s an open wheel single seater with no wings. Aerodynamic downforce is more or less non-existent making for an excellent starting point for novice racers. Hence why it features in the rookie class.

It’s power comes from a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine which is connected to a four-speed H-pattern manual transmission. However, unlike most fully manual cars, this model doesn’t require much fiddling with the pedals. On iRacing, upshifts require just a faint lift off the throttle while during downshifts, the car blips the throttle automatically. That being said, clutching in on upshifts does make for a cleaner, safer shift as a simple lift doesn’t always get the job done.

The new car on the service doesn’t have a pit speed limiter. Make sure to remember this when coming in for a quick repair after a lap 1 incident.

Finding speed

Although easy to drive at a moderate pace, getting the final few tenths out of the iRacing Ray FF1600 is a tricky task. Driving this car quickly is all about weight transfer and getting your inputs right.

The brakes work very well. They manage to get this lightweight car to stop on a dime, one just has to be careful about locking the front wheels.

Once the braking phase is complete, make sure to trail brake into the corner. Hold the brake ever so slightly as you blend in the throttle. This will help the car rotate as you approach the apex. Be careful not to over-do the trail braking as the rear end can quickly come around leaving you fighting the oversteer.

Once you’re happy with where the car is closing in on the apex nicely, it’s time to take your foot off the brake altogether. In true iRacing manner, apply the throttle with little consideration. This low-power car is unlikely to spin out on the gas and the front end doesn’t seem to suffer from on-power understeer.

Just like the Mazda MX-5, this car is all about controlling a moderate level of tyre slip through every corner. The semi-slicks will take the punishment, so don’t worry about overheating.

Racing Formula Ford in iRacing

In the upcoming season, the FF1600 will feature in a pair of series, both using the standing start procedure. Much like the new-for season 1 Toyota GR86, a Formula Ford standing start involves a clutch dump and a huge bog down in revs. Although it seems slow, it’s what everyone else will be doing, so don’t worry. In fact, the little four-pot’s low-end torque is rather abysmal.

That lack of low-rev torque is also why this iRacing Ray FF1600 is the perfect race craft guide. The constant need for momentum and a slipstream will teach you so much about patience when battling it out on-track.

As a result of the car’s dire need to maintain speed through corners, one can’t make silly moves. Diving up the inside in a place you can’t traditionally pass isn’t going to help you or your competitors. This style of pack racing is all about getting perfect exits from corners and using the car’s momentum to your advantage.

Slowing yourself down by lunging for an overtake will only drop you behind the pack. If you don’t lose positions, you certainly will lose the slipstream leaving you alone all race long.

Ray FF1600 setups guide

Placing itself as an entry-level club racing car, the Ray FF1600 in iRacing is far from an engineer’s nightmare. Little to no setup changes can be made to the vehicle with the majority of parameters only affecting how comfortable a driver is with their car.

The Ray FF1600 setup screen on iRacing
The Ray FF1600 setup screen on iRacing. Image Credit: iRacing

While several setup options such as damper settings and pushrod offset values can be changed, they don’t seem to affect a car’s grip levels. Instead, they affect the balance of the car meaning a driving that enjoys a planted rear end may look to the rear rebound values. A racer used to a pointy front will however look to raise the rear ride height. It seems the most important geometry settings will be the toe and anti-roll bars.

The biggest setup variable one might consider playing with is the gearing. Four presets are available with the car providing varying compromises between acceleration and top speed. With the D-Class Trophy visiting a variety of venues, finding the right gear ratio balance will be important.

Has this iRacing Ray FF1600 guide helped you? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!

A petrol head and motorsports fan since the early days, sim racing has been a passion of mine for a number of years. The perfect way to immerse myself in my true dream job; racing driver. With lots of experience jotting down words about the car industry, I am happy to share my passion for pretend race cars here on Overtake!