<p>Machdar Motorsports, the promoters of i1Super Series Championship, are understood to be in talks to raise close to Rs 200 crore through the private equity route to kickstart the championship by early next year.
The i1 Super Series, based on the popular city-based franchisee format, has nine teams representing nine cities in India. Each team will race with two cars, thus forming an 18-car grid. The series is expected to be held under the aegis of the Federation of Motor Sport Clubs of India and the Federation of Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). The cars will be of 1,500 cc, 260 bhp, and will be able to achieve a maximum speed of 250 kmph capable of touching 100 kmph in 3.1 seconds.
Investment bankers close to Machdar Motorsports said, the talks are in their advanced stages and the funding is expected to be closed within the next three months. The bankers further added that Machdar will use the fresh resources to pay the drivers, cars and also the venues. The championship will have a prize money of $2 million. The management of Machdar offered not to comment on the fund raise.
“The drivers will be initially contracted by Machdar and then the franchisees will be given the option of choosing the drivers. Machdar has selected cars the Radical SR3 which is a two-seater, powdercoated carbon steel frame chassis with integral safely cell and aluminium honeycomb front crash structure-complying with the FIA Production Sports Car Safety Structure Test and will test drivers to the hilt when it touches 2.5G around the corners,” the bankers added. Bankers further indicated that the races will most probably be hosted in West Asia, South East Asia besides India.
It is also learnt that the organizers are in various stages of discussions with celebrities and corporations across India to finalise the team owners. Recent reports indicated that movie actors Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla, Nagarjuna besides crickets Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh have been approached to be part of this series.