RAY Formula Ford 2000 racing cars
Whilst the mainstay of Ray race car production has been the Formula Ford 1600 in Kent, Zetec and Duratec engine guises in a few years FF 2000 cars were manufactured in limited numbers with some being development prototypes.
Ray Race, based in North Street Clapham, ran a works development chassis in 1976 originally for Andrew Peach and later with Kenny Gray taking the Roston Castings Ltd sponsored car to sixth place in the Allied Polymer Group round at Cadwell Park in September. Rick Morris had his first taste of FF2000 at the Boxing Day Brands meeting finishing second. This car was later updated to '77 specification complete with sidepods.
A new FF2000 was produced in 1977 with drivers being Rick Morris and Peter Harrington. Geoff Friswell had a one off drive in the July Mallory Shellsport International Championship supporting race starting on pole position but had to contend with a loose plug lead and finishing fourth. In February 1978 in Autosport Bert Ray advertised a 78SF FF2000 as well as the FF1600 model.
During 1979 Ray moved to larger premises at Balham and concentrated on the all new "fabulous 79F designed and built by one of the most respected men in FF1600 racing" (Autosport Sep 1979) initially laying down a batch of six chassis. Ray was again kept busy with the junior formula in 1980 only finding time to lay down a prototype FF2000.
New Zealander Warren Briggs campaigned Ray Race's works OTS/Goldstar yellow and blue FF2000 chassis with twin side mounted radiators in the 1981 Pace British Championship albeit on a "totally inadequate" budget which precluded testing and development work.
Click_here to view a pdf of Ray's '81 FF2000 specification.
Click_here to view a pdf of Ray Race's '81 advert for an additional driver in its works FF2000 team.
Increased FF1600 production in 1982 meant a move to Abbey Wall Works in Wimbledon. The development of the first Ray inboard suspension all round operated by pull-rod levers and new bodywork also meant it wasn't until later in the year that another prototype FF2000 was built with more of the same in the early part of '83.
The Ray 84SF 2000 was on display at the Brands Hatch Formula Ford Festival meeting in October '83 with shakedown testing of the red, C P Hart backed car, by the German 23 year old driver Helmut Mundas, one of the top Ray FF1600 exponents in Europe. Although having no Brands experience he was soon down to the 47 secs bracket and ordered one on the spot! Dunlop-Autosport Star of Tomorrow runner up John Robinson also tried the car, equalling the best Reynard times.
In March '84 Robinson ran the works loaned Ray in the opening round of the Racing Displays FF2000 series but a lack of finance curtailed further development. Rob Cresswell Racing Services prepared a new chassis for Aussie Dave Roberts but again finance was a problem - in August Gary Brabham qualified the Ray 84SF at Brands with Ross Cheever doing some testing with a best of 46.6 secs. Helmut Mundas ran his car in the EFDA rounds in Europe plus the World Cup race at the Festival.
1985 saw three Ray 85SF s racing in the Euroseries for Helmut Mundas, Joachim Winklehock and Herbert Buergmayr with Mark Waghorn and others doing Racing Displays rounds plus the BBC Granstand series in the UK.
In 1986 Helmut Mundas continued racing in the German FF2000 Championship and EFDA T.T. Euroseries whilst Colin White ran a Ray 86SF in Racing Displays rounds in England. February 1988 saw Autosport report that the Swiss Weber brothers were planning to run a two car team of Ray 88Fs in the German FF2000 championship for drivers Stefan Wiedel and Karl Wenig but it is believed this failed due to lack of funding.
Ray then concentrated on FF1600 and Formula Renault in 1989 plus making the odd Formula Vee with the Formula Ford 2000 chassis eventually being used in the historic and classic racing scene.
Anyone who has information or pictures of the Ray FF2000 cars please email here.
Return to top