Getting To Know: Super Formula Lights Series

Here’s everything you need to know about one of iRacing’s newest formula series, Super Formula Lights!

Fancy participating in something a little bit slower than the Super Formula Series but feeling like the Dallara F3 isn’t quite for your tastes? Well, the Super Formula Lights Series could be right up your alley. 

Essentially running to Super Formula what Indy NXT does to IndyCar and what F3 is to the higher-level European-based single-seater championships, the SF Lights Series uses the Dallara 324. The machine features a single specification used by all teams and drivers and is designed to prepare its drivers for the demands of the more powerful Super Formula car, which also produces significantly more downforce. 

The vehicle is now available within iRacing, and this article will guide you through the new Super Formula Lights series that accompanies it.   

The Car

The Dallara 324 is built in the spirit of the new-for-2024 Formula 3 regulations. Unlike its predecessor, the 324 is only available with a TOM-developed fixed-spec turbocharged 1.6-litre three-cylinder engine. Producing around 275 hp, nearly 50 more than the 2017 Dallara F3 machine, the 324 differs from its forerunner in that multiple engine suppliers are no longer allowed. 

Due to being built upon the 2024 F3 regulations, downforce garnered through the use of ground effect has been channelled throughout the car. This generally manifests as a car with a weaker front end, which makes understeer through medium and low-speed corners common. 

It makes up for this shortcoming in the high-speed turns, as the floor produces an amazing level of downforce that keeps the car glued firmly to the tarmac. 

Need Setups For The Series?

Our iRacing Setup Subscription allows you to focus purely on your on-track performance no matter the car, including the new Dallara F324. 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 Super Formula Lights Series is configured as a single-driver sprint format, with short 20-minute contests held to decide the victor. 

The grid for the race will be decided by one of iRacing’s eight-minute qualifying outings, which is preceded by a brief three-minute practice session to get your head in the game. Each race will be set to realistic weather, meaning the weather afflicting the track in real life will be the conditions for the virtual encounter. 

A small tab allows you to view the forecast before you enter, 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 watch out for rain!

What License Is Needed To Race

The open-setup Super Formula Lights fixture requires every driver to possess a C-class Formula car license to enter.  

Reaching C is relatively straightforward, as you simply need to record safe and clean races in the variety of D-level formula series available within iRacing. These include the fixed-setup Super Formula Series, FIA F4, and the Formula 1600 Trophy. 

  • If you feel you need to make a few alterations to your driving style before climbing behind the wheel of the Super Formula Lights machine, why not check out Coach Dave Academy’s extensive Never Lift guide

Series Costing

Any budding Super Formula stars will have to ensure they own the correct tracks before taking to the track in the open setup SF Lights series. Every venue utilized during the 2024 Season 1 schedule needs to be purchased on top of the regular service subscription. 

This adds up to around $180, with the cost of the SF Lights Dallara 324 pushing the total up to around $192 for the full season. Only eight rounds need to be partaken in to receive iRacing credits at the end of the season, so this is a good option should you not want to purchase tracks every week. 

Important to note, though, is that the Super Formula Lights series matches the calendar of Super Formula, which really does make it the perfect stepping stone, even on the financial side of things.

What’s So Special?

Even though the SF Lights machine is significantly more powerful than the Dallara F3 car, the vehicle is still highly susceptible to the slipstream effect.  

This means you’ll have to be on guard for any drivers that can remain within a second of you across the race distance, as they’ll able to draft up nice and close. Ideally, you’ll need to keep the battle pack as small as possible to prevent losing out towards the end of the encounter. 

Using your judgment to work out which driver is fastest out front is key, as you can use their slipstream to break up the chasing pack. Working this out will improve your overall racecraft for when you eventually step up to the Super Formula Series, as being able to think ahead is a massive advantage when dealing with significantly faster machinery. 

  • 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.

Lessons Learned In Other Series Key To Excelling

Being able to apply the skills you’ve picked up in lower-ranked fixtures is important if you are to battle up front when stepping up to the SF Lights series. 

Due to the higher level of drivers you’ll be up against, you’ll soon find yourself shuffled to the back of the pack as others either out-manoeuvre or out-pace you. There are a few key elements of racecraft needed to make the best use of your potential. 

  • Working out when the best time to pick battles is crucial to prevent losing unnecessary time or getting caught up in incidents
  • Putting ego to one side and recognizing another driver is faster can be an excellent strategy, as by using their slipstream you can pull away from others and then attack in the final couple of laps
  • A good amount of testing is critical with the new SF Lights machine, as the unique aero philosophy ensures driving characteristics can catch inexperienced racers out

The SF Lights series promises to offer Formula fans worldwide another thrilling racing experience to go with iRacing’s many other single-seater offerings. 

Getting on top of the demands of driving a ground-effect car will be crucial to fighting up front while experiencing racing in other similar series should allow you to quickly adapt to the cut-and-thrust as you look to graduate to the Super Formula championship. 

  • Also, 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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