Mumbai: The Indian four-wheeler racing scene is going to get a huge boost come in 2019 when the first season of the Xtreme1 Racing League begins. Sanctioned by the FMSCI (Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India), the racing league hopes to bring automotive racing to the forefront with innovative plans for all aspects of racing - from the tracks, race team format, type of race cars and a roster of drivers.
The Xtreme1 Racing League will be the world’s first city-based motorsport championship, though the concept has been used in other sports like cricket (IPL), football (ISL), kabaddi (Pro Kabbadi), etc. A total of eight teams are expected to participate in the first season of the league, each with two cars.
Each season of the racing league will be held on existing race tracks in the country and also involve custom street circuits in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, and Mumbai. Top Indian street circuit racers Armaan Ebrahim and Aditya Patel are the brains behind this venture and, along with Racing Promotions Pvt Ltd, the event’s promoter is in talks with former Formula One, Formula E, Indy 500, Le Mans and NASCAR drivers to infuse international-level competitiveness into the series.
The racing series promises opportunities for everyone involved. The custom-made two-seater race cars will be designed and manufactured in India, promoting race engineering and design in the country. Team owners will have to pay Rs 6.5 to Rs 7 crore, all-inclusive, to participate in the league and are assured the good return on investments. Team owners can also race their own cars with the special ‘patron’s seat’ clause built into the racing league rules.
The X1 Racing League consists of two different race events, a four-weekend main ‘League’ and a 12-weekend ‘Domestic’ season. The League will be held in the first quarter of 2019 and will see each team participate with four drivers. The league mandates the inclusion of one international driver, an international female driver, one Indian driver with international racing experience of five years or more, and an India domestic driver picked from any of the national championships.
Two of the four league races will be held at street circuits, bringing the racing series closer to the public. A yet-to-be-announced race format for the three 45-minute races, which will be held every day of the weekend, is expected to keep viewers excited.
Necessitating the inclusion of women drivers is a move towards equal opportunities for women in racing and is a step towards attracting more women toward the sport. The inclusion of drivers with international race experience should help domestic drivers develop their skills towards a higher standard.