JPSK Sports’ Mark Hughes confirms Indian Grand Prix 2011 is on track

The Jaypee group has been entrusted with the responsibility of conducting the formula one race at India for the next 10 years. The JPSK group a subsidiary of the Jaypee Group is going to be constructing the track at Noida. Mark Hughes who was the operations head of the circuit at Sakhir Bahrain is the man incharge of the Indian Grand Prix event. He claimed that the track construction is as per schedule and the first race would happen in October 2011. By then Delhi and the NCR would have also hosted the commonwealth games and would be having the infrastructure needed to maintain such a huge gathering of sportspersons and technical people from around the globe.

The Indian Grand Prix has always had a heavy backing from people like Bernie Ecclestone and Vijay Mallya. The sports ministry had tried to play spoilsport last year by refusing to recognise formula one as a sport and granting tax relief with respect to equipment imported for the same. The huge influx of tourists for the event though is expected to change things. The race organisers peg the turnout for the race at more than 1 lakh spectators, most of them from outside the country. Such a huge influx of foreign tourists and revenue will surely make the Government recognise the Indian Grand Prix as an event of National Importance.

“We fully expect the race to go ahead next October” Mark Hughes said.

“The circuit is part of a sports city being constructed 35 kilometres outside the Indian capital on a 2,800 acre site with areas set aside for the Formula One track and a 100,000-seater international cricket stadium,” Hughes added.

“Jaypee Group head Jaiprakash Gaur is passionate about sport and he has a dream to develop Indian youngsters with talent and prospects to progress,” Hughes added. “The sports hub is part of that dream.”

“We expect to complete construction by July 2011 and once the FIA has given its approval we can finalise training for marshals, track officials and medical staff in time for an October race.”

Meanwhile as most of you might be aware Karun Chandhok became the second ever Indian to race in the formula one championship. He is racing for the HRT F1 team (Campos meta).

Narain Karthikeyan Is Top Ranked Indian Racing Driver In The World

Narain Karthikeyan 2009 (1)

“The Fastest Indian in the World”, Narain Karthikeyan has been rated as the top Indian racing driver in the world, ranking 126th in the overall world classifications, a massive 1,353 points, and 75 places ahead of his nearest Indian rival. The Castrol Rankings, which are powered by AUTOSPORT.com, were launched at the AUTOSPORT International Exhibition in Birmingham, UK, on 14 January 2010.

David Coulthard, who launched motorsports first ever definitive ranking system believes the new Castrol Rankings system will show who is the best racing driver in the world, across all the major categories of motorsport. He explained that the new system will accurately compare the performances of more than 2,000 drivers.

“As a fan of motorsport, I have always been curious to know who are the best drivers,” Coulthard said. “Growing up back in Scotland I used to read AUTOSPORT cover-to-cover, anything that was in there at the time, irrespective of whether it was single-seaters or another form of racing. You tend to think F1 is the pinnacle, but is it rallying? Is it sportscars? Is it some guy racing in Australian Formula 3? I didn’t know until last night that there is an Australian F3 championship! This initiative gives us the opportunity to look at over 2000 drivers and come up with a definitive ranking. I’m curious to know what the future holds.”

Each driver is given a score depending on his qualifying position and race results from each event that counts towards the Castrol Rankings. Additional points are given for the fastest lap, leading the race or rally, leading the most laps, finishing on the lead lap, most positions gained and starting the event. The driver’s Castrol Index Score is multiplied by a pre-determined weighting. The weighting, calculated by Castrol performance Analysts is based on the type of race or rally being contested. The more important the event, the higher the weighting. Points are then adjusted depending on the number of rounds in the championship – in order to equalise each series to a theoretical 20 rounds. Every week, the drivers’ points are added to their previous points to provide a Castrol Rankings total, covering the last 12 months of competition,

Jenson Button topped the 2009 rankings, ahead of Sebastian Vettel and World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb. Coulthard reckons the Castrol Rankings will show who does the best job in 2010. The important thing with the ranking system is that it rewards finishing and consistency. It’s not just about the glory shot of winning a particular race.

Jaypee Group puts Indian Grand Prix formula one track information online

jaypee sports city layout

The cat is out of the bag, the Jaypee group which is constructing the track for the much awaited formula one Indian Grand Prix. You can see the formula one track within the circuit and also the formula one track individually. I couldn’t find the image of the track online anymore so took it from one of the  Indian motorcar forums.

 2011_india_f1_track

Very Tilke-ish track with a long hairpin. Seems like the 2011 Indian Grand Prix is set after all !

Images are probably properties of the Jaypee group.

More embarrassment to India as they plan to fine David Coulthard

Formula 1 Sea Link with david CoulthardThe Indian government seems to be doing one thing after another in its bigger plan to shoo and scare away the sport of formula one from India. First they refused to recognise Formula One as a sport and now with around 2 years left for the 1st edition of the Indian Grand Prix, the Indian Government seemed to be on the brink of another gaffe.

To celebrate the opening of the new Bandra Worli sea link, Red Bull roped in David Coulthard to zoom across the track. The speed limit of the sea link is 30 mph, however it was raised to 60 mph specially for the formula one event. However since formula one cars dont have speedometers , David wasnt aware of his speeds while driving.

Anyway, after the whole event was done, authorities started to take note of the violations, The organisers will most probably not be refunded the 20,000 pound deposit.

Satish Gavai, managing director of Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation, said: ‘I have asked my officers to submit a report on the event.

‘Action will be considered only after it is established that the vehicle went beyond permissible speed limits on the sea link.’

David Coulthard on his end apologised,

David Coulthard said: ‘I was trying to judge what 60mph would be but I have no speedometer on the car.

‘I spent my career driving over 200, so I am sorry if I went over the speed limit.’

Indian Sports ministry messes up on Formula One proposal

 

We as Indian citizens are used to the Government making one lame decision after another, but their latest ruling on formula one is surely going to leave a lot of fans angry and confused. In a blow to India’s and Indians’s dream to host a formula one event, the Indian sports ministry (full of bureaucrats BTW) refused to give the status of a sport to Formula One.

The sports ministry refused to extend duty waivers and customs waivers that are usually extended to sporting events. So equipment to import formula one track material will not get any special waivers. A major Indian newspaper reported the sports ministry as saying :

“It(formula one) would have no impact on the development of sports in the country" 

"F1 is not purely sports. It is entertainment and this venture is a commercial initiative."

However JPSK the group that is constructing the F1 track said that its totally committed to ensure that the formula one race goes ahead in India. And we too are with them !

Narain Karthikeyan finishes sixth in his First Le Mans series race

Narain Karthikeyan in Audi R10

“The Fastest Indian in The World” Narain Karthikeyan opened a new chapter in his distinguished International Motorsports career last weekend, by finishing 6th in his first Le Mans Series race for the Kolles Audi Team, driving the Audi R10 TDi LMP1 Sportscar. The 5.5 liter V12, turbo-diesel powered car is one of the most successful sportscars in the history of the championship, winning the Le Mans 24-hour classic for the past three years.

Narain added another couple of ‘firsts’ to the innumerable ‘firsts’ in his career CV, becoming the first Indian driver to enter the Le Mans Series, and the first to score championship points, that too in his debut race.

The 1,000 km Endurance race held at the Spa-Francorchamps Circuit in Belgium was the venue of the second round of the 2009 Le Mans Series (LMS), where Narain started his summer season of racing in 2009. With its mixture of long straights, fast corners and varying gradients, the circuit ranks as one of the most technically challenging circuits in the world, and is a firm favourite with teams and drivers alike. Narain has good memories of this track, as it was the venue of a great battle between himself & Jacques Villeneuve during his 2005 Formula 1 campaign.

Due to the 1,000 km long endurance nature of the races (a Formula 1 race is only 305 km long), Narain shared driving duties with two other drivers, Briton Andrew Meyrick & Dutchman Charles Zwolsman. Narain undertook the driving duties during qualifying on Saturday and qualified the car 9th on the grid, ahead of the teams’ second car driven by Christian Albers.

As per championship regulations, the qualifying driver can either start the race, or finish the race, and Narain chose the latter, thus doing the 3rd & final stint during Sunday’s race. He took over the car at 5:15 pm local time, approximately 4 hours 25 minutes after the race had started, and drove the last 1 hour 25 minutes of the race. He crossed the finish line in 6th position, 2 laps ahead of the teams sister car which finished in 7th position.

Indian Grand Prix 2011 on schedule claims builder

The global financial crisis which has left realty majors like DLF, Emaar and Eros gasping for breath and money will not threaten the construction of the 2011 formula one Indian Grand Prix. The MD of the company made the following statement to a press agency :

“The progress is very nice…I’m absolutely, absolutely confident that the track  will be completed”

Samir Gaur, managing director of India’s JPSK Sports Pvt Ltd was quoted as saying.

“The track will be ready in 2011.”

The JPSK group is a subsidary of Jaiprakash Associates who own a large number of Industries and Educational Institutes in India. The track will be built at Greater Noida which is a satellite town on the outskirts of Delhi. Its connected to Delhi via an expressway.

Force India introduces new diffuser and floor as Aerodynamic upgrades

Finally some good news for Indian fans of formula one. The force India formula one team after giving one dismal performance after another despite spending so much money has come out with an aerodynamic improvement which they hope will give them much better performance.

Vijay Mallya was quoted as saying :

We are planning to introduce a significant aerodynamic upgrade for the Bahrain Grand Prix, including a new floor and an interim diffuser. Amongst other items, we also plan to use new auxiliary wings on the front wing and reprofiled sidepods to incorporate the amended rear end. We have been planning this upgrade since the debut of the VJM02 as part of our scheduled aerodynamic cycle and it will represent a good step forward for the team. Although we nevertheless expect other teams to have moved forward as well, we hope this will keep us racing with the rest of the field.

Force India formula one’s performance at Malaysian Free Practice

Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM02/03):
FP1: 15th 1:37.241  (18 laps)
FP2: 16th 1:36.875  (36 laps)

Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM02/01):
FP1: 12th    1:37.025  (20 laps)
FP2: 19th 1:37.432  (27 laps)

3 April 2009 – The Force India Formula One Team today completed the opening day of practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit some 60km from the country’s capital, Kuala Lumpur. Under increasingly cloudy skies, Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil recorded times just over a second from the fastest lap of the day, with Giancarlo 12th and 19th in the morning and afternoon sessions respectively, and Adrian 15th and 16th. 

The team completed short runs on the harder tyre in the morning, but concentrated the majority of its programme on the afternoon session, with its high ambient temperatures and later time slot being more representative of the expected conditions for Sunday’s race, which will start at 17:00hrs this year. Both drivers compared the soft and hard tyre compounds available this weekend over both long and short runs, fine-tuned the set-up and reacclimatised to the tough physical pressures associated with the heat and humidity of this event.

The only blip in the programme was an accident for Giancarlo in the second practice. The Italian put a wheel on the grass at turn 11 20 minutes from the end of the session and went into the gravel trap and into the barriers. His VJM02 sustained suspension damage in the impact but will be repaired overnight in time for tomorrow’s final practice session and qualifying.

Adrian Sutil (car 20)

‘It was a good day today overall. We got through all our work and had no problems with the car. We have some work to do with the set up, it’s still a bit understeery in the high speed corners and we can still make some improvements in this respect. The soft tyres seem to work quite well, but the hard tyre at the moment is really hard and never seems to come in. Overall it was a pretty productive day to set us up well for the weekend.’

Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21)

‘We are still finding the best compromise under braking as there is front locking and poor grip and traction so we have to work a lot to make the balance work for us. Over the longer runs it doesn’t look too bad however. It’s a shame about the accident in the afternoon – I just went a little bit wide as there was some graining on the tyres and I lost control of the car. It was just unlucky to go onto the gravel and into the barriers.’

A1GP Team India Statistics : Journey till now

Racing isnt just formula one you know, The A1GP or the worldcup of motorsport is also a world famous racing series with Team India as one of the participants. The cars in A1GP are all the same, so its up to the drivers and the team to tweak the cars and get the best performance. The drivers are forced to push the cars to their limit without actually incurring the wrath of their respective insurance companies for totaling their cars.

The formula one Indian Grand Prix may very well have a rival in the A1GP’s Indian Grand Prix, there were rumours of a track being selected near Rajasthan. Anyway some A1GP Team India statistics with a pretty photo of Team India wonderboy Narain Karthikeyan and his tricolour helmet :

A1 Team India Statistics

Narain Karthikeyan A1GP Team India 

A1GP standings
2005/06 24th
2006/07 16th
2007/08 10th
2008/09 15th

Drivers Caps
Karun Chandhok – 3
Armaan Ebrahim  – 22
Narain Karthikeyan – 36
Parthiva Sureshwaren – 4

A1GP statistics
Races started 65
Wins 2
Points 82
Pole positions 1
Podium places 2
Top 10s 22
Raced laps 1537
Raced km 6259
Races led 4
Led laps 36
Led km 142

The A1GP team India has had limited success in the various seasons but with 2 wins and 82 points in total its definitely a team to watch out for in the A1GP format of racing.