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Ride for F1 hopefuls nearer, and dearer

india Updated: Jul 21, 2012 23:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
MRF Challenge

The second season of the MRF Challenge will get underway at the Buddh International Circuit as a support race at the 2012 Indian Grand Prix. However, in what may pinch the Indian aspirants' chances, a season seat for the event will cost Rs 50 lakh.

In its debut season, a seat in the series was pegged at between Rs 10-20 lakh, however, this time around a spokesperson for the series organisers has said that a seat in this season's upgraded car will cost Rs 50 lakh.

Last season, the car was powered by Ford Duratec 1.6 litre engines. This season's cars will all have custom-built Dallara chassis, while Renault-Sport will provide 210 BHP 2.0 litre engines.

The car will have an improved six-speed Hewland sequential gearbox, an upgrade on last season's five-speed version.

MRF has also finalised the calendar for the series – Round One will be held on the final weekend of October as a support race to the Indian Grand Prix.

Round Two will be held on the first weekend of December as a support race to the FIA GT1 Championship. The final two rounds will be held at the MMRT Circuit in Chennai over the first two weekends of February.

Only four of the 15 drivers in the inaugural series were Indian, among them rally driver Gaurav Gill. This season, however, the organisers have said that the number could trim even further, even though 20 cars will line up on the grid.