XSPORT and i1 Supercar Series hold successful pre-season test at Yas Marina Circuit

Official shakedown at Yas circuit

Official shakedown at Yas circuit

Tuesday, 20th December 2011, Abu Dhabi – The i1 Supercar Series held a successful pre-season test at the Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi ahead of the inaugural championship of the city based motorsport racing league. Three-time Formula One Heinz-Harald Frentzen topped the times followed by Giancarlo Fisichella and India’s Karun Chandhok. Watched closely by the team owners, Darshan M, CEO, i1 Supercar series and technicians, the drivers were briefed, following which they took to the track. This is the first time the drivers, technicians and team owners came together on one platform to test the Radical SR3 car that will be used in the league.

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Cars arrival and inspection

I1 Supercar Series coordinator Robin Webb and Operations Director from XSport, Lex Akehurst was pleased with the shakedown, and commented, “The technical shakedown of the 18 cars and pre-season test was a complete success and the car’s performed to the level we expected it to. Don’t read too much into the times as the fastest laps were set in different conditions. Today was more about the drivers familiarizing themselves with the car and adapting to it. I am happy to say that we had a trouble free day and now we will work hard to get the cars ready for the first race in Malaysia.”

The event was held at the challenging Yas Marina Circuit to give international audiences a taste of the excitement the Indian audiences have been feeling since the series was announced in August, 2011.  The FIA certified, Radical SR3 car that will be used for the series is a powerful machine and is a popular choice among both skilled and rookie drivers. The car lived up to everyone’s expectations with drivers giving it two thumbs up for the upcoming season.

Leading Indian Formula One driver Karun Chandhok said, “I feel very happy to be here to support a great new initiative for Indian motorsport. I think everyone is aware of how passionately I feel about being an ambassador for the sport in our country and I welcome any new programs that help to develop the sport. The city vs. city concept is very interesting and with the way the races are scheduled it doesn’t conflict with any F1 or other series that I am looking at for 2012. The car is fun to drive and it’s a real pleasure to spend time with some of my childhood heroes and also help out the young Indian boys in any way that I can.”

Former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi said, “I feel very confident with the whole package. The car balance felt great and I was very happy with the grip and was very easy to adapt my driving style to it. All in all the whole package is a great and I am looking forward to the start of the championship. The lap times are so close so I am sure we will have an excellent season ahead of us.”

Giancarlo Fisichella commented, “I was quite impressed with how easy it was to acclimatize to the car. This was the first time for all of us so am sure we are all learning more about the car. The series looks very promising and it feels great to be a part of it.”

Heinz-Harald Frentzen, who set the fastest time today said, “The lap times were so close apart today so it means we are in for a really close championship. The car feels good, grip levels were really high and it was easy to adapt to the car. I think what the organizers are doing is great so I look forward to the inaugural season.”

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Pre-season test results

  1. Heinz-Harald Frentzen
1:00:505
  1. Giancarlo Fisichella
1:00:557
  1. Karun Chandhok
1:00:660
  1. Jean Alesi
1:00:688
  1. Matthias Lauda
1:00:688
  1. Neel Jani
1:00:695
  1. Armaan Ebrahim
1:00:840
  1. Parthiva Sureshwaren
1:00:853
  1. Vitantonio Liuzzi
1:00:868
  1. Alex Yoong
1:01:191
  1. Sakon Yamamoto
1:01:374
  1. Zaamin Jaffer
1:01:153
  1. Aditya Patel
1:01:258
  1. Mika Salo
1:01:784
  1. Raj Bharath
1:01:925
  1. Ashwin Sundar
1:02:153
  1. Akhil Khushlani
1:02:399
  1. Vishnu Prasad
1:02:509
  1. Sailesh Bolisetti
1:02:584
  1. Ameya Walwalkar
1:02:665
  1. Cyndie Allemann
1:02:753
  1. Abdul Ahmed
1:02:781
  1. Gaurav Dalal
1:02:787
  1. Chirag Malhotra
1:03:113
  1. Amittrajit Ghosh
1:03:849
  1. Phiroze Billmoria
1:04:165