SRK ventures into motorsports, co-owns 'i1 Super Series' Mumbai team | entertainment | Hindustan Times
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SRK ventures into motorsports, co-owns 'i1 Super Series' Mumbai team

entertainment Updated: Nov 07, 2011 13:57 IST
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Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan co-promoted KKR will own the Mumbai team for the upcoming new motorsport racing league, i1 Super Series, the organiser of the event Machdar Motorsports said on Friday.

"We are today announcing the first team for the i1 Super Series which will be owned by Shah Rukh Khan and Jai Mehta, who together own KKR," Machdar Motosports CEO Darshan M told PTI.

KKR is also the owner of the Kolkata franchise of the T20 cricket Indian Premiere League.

The i1 Super Series is scheduled to start in January 2012 and nine city-based teams in India will participate in the racing competition that will be held in India, UAE, Malaysia, Bahrain and Qatar.

Next week Machdar Motorsports will announce, other teams and owners mostly probably for Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore, Darshan said.

"We are currently holding talks with atleast 2-3 potential suitors in each of the nine cities for every team," he said without disclosing names.

It has been speculated that for the Delhi team Dabur India promoter Mohit Burman and IIPM Business School Dean Arindam Choudhary are in the fray.

Darshan, however, declined to comment on it.

He said each team owner will have to shell out a minimum $20 million over a period of 15 years for team acquisition.

"There is no auctioning in this case. We will select team owners on the basis of their commitment and passion for the sport. Machdar Motorsports, which is a private entity will pay back 60% of the revenue earned from the series to the respective team owners," Darshan added.

Besides, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore, the company is looking at other cities such as Chandigarh, Pune, Ahemadabad, Kolkata and Chennai. "The series, charted on the popular city based franchisee format will have 8-9 teams with each team having an Indian and an international driver per car," he said.

To promote the series, Machdar Motorsports will spend around $5 million on marketing and advertising across media, Darshan said.

"Promotional campaign for the league should begin in the middle of this month," he added.

Commenting on his participation in the series Shah Rukh Khan said in a statement: "After the inaugural Indian GP it is clear that motorsports is hugely popular in India and I strongly believe that this series will be a success with its one-of-a-kind concept."

The Bollywood actor was recently seen at the first ever India leg of the Formula 1 series held in Greater Noida.

"I have always tried to develop sports in the country in any way possible and we have recently taken a very professional approach to expanding our interests in various sports entertainment categories," he said.

"The concept is similar to the IPL and I am confident that in the years to come this can become one of the biggest motorsport events in the world," he added.

At least one driver for each team must be a certified Indian driver. Teams will compete for a $2 million prize.