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Getting to know: Formula D Formula 1600 series

iRacing’s Ray FF1600 is a brilliant machine to learn car control and get to grips with a single-seater. Let’s learn all about its new Formula D series.

Are you looking to run the ultra-fun Formula Ford 1600 car in longer races? The D License Formula 1600 Thrustmaster Trophy is just the series you could be looking for. 

Featuring nearly double the race length and a larger range of circuits compared to the rookie F1600 fixture, the Formula 1600 Thrustmaster Trophy provides the ideal setup for seasoned Ray FF1600 drivers to improve their racecraft around some of the world’s most iconic racing venues. 

This guide will explain everything you need to know about the Formula 1600 Thrustmaster Trophy, and how to conquer it.    

The car

The Ray FF1600 sits as iRacing’s next Formula car offering above the Formula Vee, the machine providing more power than its fellow rookie-level vehicle. Formula Fords are a popular stepping stone for many drivers in real life on their way to stardom, with many taking them on after progressing from karting.  

Powered by a Ford-derived 1.6-litre engine, Formula Ford racers are renowned for providing close and thrilling racing. There are multiple reasons for this, with the first being the low 120 bhp power figure the motors produce. This means slipstreaming is extremely effective, while the lack of any wings means there is no dirty air effect to prevent drivers from being able to follow closely. 

Most FF series also facilitate the cars to run road tyres, which provide significantly less grip than full racing slicks. The lack of downforce and tyre grip means the car slides around a lot, which allows the most naturally talented drivers to excel.  


Need setups for the series?

Our iRacing Setup Subscription, which includes a full setup package for the Formula D FF1600 Series, allows you to focus purely on your on-track performance, rather than having to worry about also engineering yourself.  And, with access to our free Coach Dave Delta app, installing them couldn’t be any easier. 

  • Race setups
  • Qualifying setups
  •  Onboard laps
  • Data packs
  • All are crafted by professionals

Race series format

The Formula 1600 Thrustmaster Trophy runs as a short sprint race similar to the rookie series. The key difference is the race length, with a longer 20-minute race distance scheduled compared to 12 minutes for the lower-ranked fixture. 

One of iRacing’s usual eight-minute qualifying tests decides the grid for the encounter, with a brief three-minute practice session beforehand allowing each driver to get ready for their runs. Every event will have realistic weather, meaning the race will take place in the exact conditions enveloping the track in real life.

A small tab lets you view the forecast before entering, so you’ll know what to expect before you hit the circuit. 

  • Races run across 20 minutes 
  • Each features an eight-minute practice
  • Every session is set to a realistic weather forecast, so be wary of inclement climactic conditions

What license is needed to race?

Each Formula 1600 Thrustmaster Trophy event requires drivers to possess a D-Level Formula license to enter.   

There are two clear pathways to reaching the D Formula license in iRacing. The first is to run the shorter rookie FF1600 fixture, while the other involves campaigning the Simagic Formula Vee series. Finishing races cleanly and professionally will soon allow you to achieve the SR level needed to move into Class D. 

  • Should you want to extract the maximum potential from your driving style before stepping up to the open FF1600 series, why not check out Coach Dave Academy’s extensive Never Lift guide

Series costing

The Formula 1600 Thrustmaster Trophy features a predominantly premium-track-based calendar, though a good chunk of the circuits are free for those stepping up. Five of the 12 circuits featured on the Season 1 2024 schedule are free, meaning seven will need to be purchased to complete the set. 

With the Ray FF1600 being included within the base iRacing subscription, drivers will need to spend around $105 to be able to race in every round. Only eight rounds need to be partaken in to receive iRacing credits at the end of the season, so those looking to receive some would only need to purchase three to achieve this requirement.  

What’s so special?

The FF1600 series’ are fantastic for improving your racecraft when wheel-to-wheel, due to how much the machine slides. You therefore need to be able to rely on your basic car control to prevent skidding into the side of your opponent, an element that ensures you need to think ahead while racing. 

This will provide a valuable tool as you move up the racing ranks, where faster cars will mean fast decision-making will become even more crucial. 

The Formula 1600 Thrustmaster Trophy differentiates from the rookie series due to it being an open setup contest, rather than featuring a fixed setup structure. This allows drivers extra freedom in making changes to their cars, which can help you better mould the machine to your distinct driving style. 

  • Tweaking the setup more to your liking could provide you with the edge in pace you need to make the difference versus your competitors  
  • Settings such as brake bias alone can make a big difference
  • Using greater rear bias will help rotate the vehicle on corner entry, allowing you to brake later and carry more corner speed
  • It can also help save your front tyres, which is more of an issue over longer 20-minute races compared to the 12-minute rookie outings

If you want to practice your racecraft at the forefront of any race you enter, why not bolt on a setup tirelessly worked on by Coach Dave Academy’s expert engineers?

Being smart in slipstream battles key

Knowing how best to place your car during slipstream battles will have a drastic effect on your final finishing position in most races. Sometimes you’ll be lucky to get a clean break or possess significantly more pace than your rivals, allowing you to escape. 

This is rare for most though, and you’ll likely be entrenched in large trains featuring drivers scraping for every possible position. 

  • Knowing when to let a driver go and when to defend is key, as if the wrong decision is taken both lose time – and potentially the draft to the cars ahead
  • Accepting you’ll unlikely be unable to pull away is important to prevent frustration from taking over, which will negatively affect your clarity and thought process in battle
  • Decisive but tidy moves are important when possible to prevent being shuffled to the back of the pack, especially in closing laps where you’ll have a lack of time to recover spots

The Formula 1600 Thrustmaster Series is the ideal stepping stone from the rookie class into D Licence competition. It allows less experienced drivers to learn how to run longer races in a vehicle they’re already familiar with, meaning they can focus on improving racecraft without having to learn the car. 

Once confidence and strong results are consistently achieved, D-Level fixtures featuring faster machinery such as the FIA F4 and US Open Wheel D USF 2000 are waiting to continue your rise up the single-seater racing ladder.   

  • Remember to download the free Coach Dave Delta app today to access the full range of setups to fight for supremacy whenever you hit the track!

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Getting to know: Formula D Formula 1600 series
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