MRF Formula championship's final two of the eight rounds in 2011 series will be run as an official support race for the inaugural Formula One Indian Grand Prix scheduled for Oct 29-30 at the Jaypee International Race Circuit in Greater Noida.
The previous six rounds will be held in Chennai at the Madras Motor Sports Trust track over two weekends, Feb 5-6 and 12-13, a sort of throwback to the fabled Sholavaram races that were usually run over two weekends every February.
Announcing this at a media conference here on Wednesday, Arun Mammen, managing director of MRF Ltd., said MRF has built 12 Formula cars in addition to the 12 that were raced earlier this year.
Each of the cars will be offered to racers at Rs.15 lakh per season on an "arrive and drive" basis. The fee covers car rental, service, fuel, tyres and transport costs for the entire season while under the "early bird" scheme, a driver submitting his confirmed entry by December 20, will be provided air tickets and accommodation. The entries close on December 31.
Tony Rodricks, GM (Advertising), MRF Ltd., said the final two rounds in Noida would be challenging as the drivers would be allotted only 30 minutes of timed practice on the Friday of the race weekend.
The MRF Formula cars are powered by Ford Duratec engines and mainly imported parts like Hewland 5-speed sequential gear box, Bilstein shocks and AP braking system. The cars will be serviced by JA Motorsport with Indian mechanics, supervised by foreign engineers.
The prize-money is $100,000 with $50,000 for the winner, $30,000 for second place.