Abu Dhabi: Formula One drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Karun Chandhok seemed pretty happy after their inaugural test drive session in the SR3 racing cars, especially designed for the i1 Supercar Series that gets underway in Sepang (Malaysia) from next month.
The test drive session was held at the Yas Marina circuit today though the length of the circuit has been reduced as compared to what it is in Formula One in order to suit the needs of a 35-minute sprint race.
"I enjoyed driving the SR3. This was the first time that I drove a prototype car (two-seater) and thoroughly enjoyed the session. The best part about the car is that it felt pretty nimble while I was driving through the corners which I didn`t expect. There is also a great downforce," Chandhok said after his Test drive session.
Chandhok pointed out that one shouldn`t compare the 75,000 pound car weighing at 570kg with the F1 cars.
"It`s totally different concept. In F1 the balance is entirely in the centre while in case of SR3 cars, it`s in one side. Also I wasn`t the first one to use the new tyres and that`s why my lap timing was pretty ok."
Fisichella, on his part, said, "The grip was good although it was a bit difficult at the braking points. I believe that there is a scope for a bit more improvisation as there should be some work on the set-up. I would appreciate if there is a bit more power. The tyres also had a pretty good grip. The best part however is that all cars will be of same quality, so the competition among drivers will be a close one."
The CEO of Machdar Motorsports Darshan M pointed out that even if the team owners have deep pockets, none of them would be allowed to arbitrarily improvise on the make.
"That`s the idea basically that all teams will have equal advantage going into the race," Darshan said.
The new series will feature two women drivers – British Pippa Mann and Swiss lady Cyndie Allemann who will compete with the men.
Pippa has competed in the IZod Indycar Series, while Cyndie has raced in 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans.