iRacing Guide: Dallara F324 Super Formula Lights

iRacing’s newest road racing car, the Dallara F324 Super Formula Lights, is a great way to set yourself up for the popular Formula B Super Formula Series. Let’s learn all about it!

The Super Formula Lights championship holds significant importance in motorsport, particularly in Japan and Asia. The series serves as a crucial stepping stone for young drivers aspiring to climb the ladder to higher levels of racing, including Super Formula and potentially Formula 1.

iRacing added the Super Formula Lights car with the 2024 Season 2 update as a paid DLC. In terms of the iRacing career ladder of Formula cars, Super Formula Lights sits adjacent to the Formula C series that uses the Dallara F317. Let’s learn more about it.

Introducing Super Formula Lights

The history of Super Formula Lights traces back to the early days of Japanese motorsport. Established in 1979 as the Japanese Formula 3 Championship, it quickly became one of the premier Asian open-wheel racing series. Over the years, it has produced numerous talented drivers who achieved success both domestically and internationally.

The series underwent a significant transformation in 2019 when it was rebranded as Super Formula Lights. This rebranding aimed to align the championship more closely with its counterpart, the Super Formula championship, and to reinforce its position as a feeder series for young talent.

Many drivers who have graduated from Super Formula Lights have gone on to compete successfully in Super Formula, the premier single-seater series in Japan, or have earned opportunities to race in other top-tier international championships.

  • Struggling to get to grips with the Super Formula Lights car? Check out one of Coach Dave Academy’s weekly Lap Guides.

The Basic Car Characteristics

The car used in Super Formula Lights is a purpose-built single-seater designed for Formula 3 competition. Like the European Formula 3 car, the chassis was developed by Dallara. The F324 uses a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine with 276 horsepower and has a nice balance between performance and drivability for aspiring drivers.

The Super Formula Lights machine relies on aerodynamic elements such as front and rear wings, diffusers, and other bodywork features designed to generate downforce and optimise handling characteristics. The aero design is less advanced than in the senior Formula series, and the car is more intuitive to drive while still generating significant downforce, particularly from its floor rather than exterior wings.

Steering and Cornering

A good suspension setup is crucial on fast open-wheel cars to maximise cornering performance and apex speeds, and that is no different for the Super Formula Lights car. Although the F324 does not generate as much downforce from the floor as the Super Formula car, mechanical grip and aero downforce must work well together for fast lap times.

You can customise suspension in the front and rear chassis setup windows. Remember that better mechanical grip usually comes at the cost of worse aero downforce. For example, softer springs improve mechanical grip but make the platform less stable and aerodynamic behaviour less consistent.

The default setup is quite friendly to drive. The car is very stable and does not try to snap on exits. If you prefer not to worry about the setup but like predictable cars, you should enjoy the Super Formula Lights championship with a trusty Coach Dave Academy setup on your side.

  • You can get your hands on new setups for the Super Formula Lights every week of 2024 Season 2 with our iRacing Setup Subscription

Aerodynamics and Bodywork

As with any modern road open-wheel car, you can change front and rear wing angles in F324. The attack angle of the rear wing is the main tool to adjust the aero balance, top speed and the overall level of downforce. You can add more front grip or fine-tune the aero balance with the front wing.

In addition to the front and rear wing angles, the aero setup also allows two other advanced adjustments:

  • The Gurney Flap can be added to the trailing edge of the front wing. It significantly increases the downforce and drag from the front wing and moves the aero balance forward.
  • The Beam Wing (a lower element on the rear wing situated just above the axle) can be adjusted separately to the upper rear flap angle to tune the aerodynamic balance. Higher angles increase overall downforce and shift aero to the rear.

This car also has adjustable ride heights and third springs that are crucial to control the stability of the aero platform while cornering.

Power Delivery and Braking

The Super Formula Lights car has 35-40 more horsepower than the F317 used in European Formula 3 racing. If you come from Formula C championships in iRacing, the acceleration out of the corners will be familiar. However, expect better performance in medium and fast corners due to more aero load and higher top speeds.

The drivetrain setup is limited to the gear stack and the differential settings. You can adjust the differential preload and the differential locking during deceleration (coast) and acceleration (power) with the ramp angles. Coast and power adjustments are a great way to fine-tune corner entry and exit behaviour.

  • If you need help understanding the optimal driving style for the F324, why don’t you watch some of our watch onboard laps on Coach Dave Academy’s Hotlaps channel?

Where You Can Race It

You can participate in one championship dedicated to the Super Formula Lights car called the Formula C – Super Formula Lights. You can choose between fixed and open-setup races, but both are available to drivers with a Formula C licence.

The calendar is the same for both versions of this championship – and the premier Super Formula series – and the calendar is not limited to Japan. It includes many circuits from Formula 1, such as Monza, Hungaroring, Montreal, Barcelona and multiple circuits in the United States this season alone. However, all circuits are DLCs, which cost 15.95 USD each.

Races occur on alternating hours and last 20 or 30 minutes, depending on whether you are racing in the fixed or open setup series, and the championship uses standing starts so make sure you practice finding that bite point with your clutch for the best launch!

  • If you want to learn more about the Super Formula Lights Series, check out our guide here.

Final Thoughts

Super Formula Lights add more variety to the middle-tier of Formula cars in iRacing. It is a natural progression to Formula B championships that use only Super Formula cars for now and a nice change to the F317 that has been the Formula C car in iRacing for the last five years.

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iRacing Guide: Dallara F324 Super Formula Lights
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