Ray adapts for FF1600

The car, which is heavily based around the 2003 GRS03 Zetec challenger, costs £13,500 and is designed to counter the increasingly high prices of Zetec-to-Kent chassis conversions

Ray adapts for FF1600

Ray said: "What we are trying to do is establish a sensible price. It's more expensive now to convert and modify an old Zetec car, and that is the principal pushing forward this car.
"Everybody keeps saying that Formula Ford is expensive but hopefully this proves that it isn't, and that actually it is quite cheap compared with things like Formula Renault and Formula BMW."

In addition to Kent engines, the Ray can also accommodate Ford's smaller Duratec engine, a powerplant which has long been mooted as a potential successor to the Zetec unit. Ray said: "People are always talking about the Duratec engine. They're asking whether it will fit. Well, it fits in this car, so if someone wants to convert it in a year or 10 years time, for whatever reason, it's no problem."

The car has already completed a number of test sessions and has reportedly shown good pace. Ray is now anticipating a debut for it within the next month.

He said: "It has been pretty quick in testing and there aren't too many people in 1600 we need to worry about. We just need the right driver, because it is the ideal 1600 car. As a Zetec it is way underweight, and it's the same for the Kent, so it has everything it needs to be a strong package."

Ray is optimistic that the car will help to maintain the marque's sales of around 12 cars per year, although he maintains that the company's future is in running a team as well as a chassis manufacturing programme.

He said: "We're purists but we're under no illusion that we can continue purely as a car maker. We're not in it for the money, but obviously we have to cover our overheads and the way to do that is to run a team with paying drivers. "That said, we don't want to be running at the back collecting money. It has to be with the right drivers, and we've been looking at Formula BMW as well as Formula Ford. Hopefully Ford will get involved and make sure that the national series keeps going as a strong championship."

The works Ray team is set to return to Formula Ford Zetec with a two-car squad in next month's Formula Ford Festival. Ray has set his sights on fighting for victory, and will run a car in the official National FFord test ahead of next week's final rounds.

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