Chennai: In a path-breaking move, tyre giants MRF launched the Formula 2000, said to be the most powerful racing machine in Asia, at the Express Avenue Mall here Friday with India`s first Formula One driver, Narain Karthikeyan, taking the bright red liveried machine for a few laps around the complex.
The Formula 2000 is a big upgrade from last year`s F-1600 with its 210 bhp, two-litre Renault-Sport engine on a Dallara chassis with a six-speed sequential Hewland gearbox. It earned rave reviews from Karthikeyan.
It will be raced in the four-round MRF Challenge series with the opening two rounds at the Budh International Circuit in Noida as a support event for the Formula One Indian Grand Prix, according to MRF Tyres managing director Arun Mammen.
The other rounds will be held on consecutive weekends at the MMRT track in Chennai and the series will comprise of 10 races in all, he said.
The F2000 will run on specially designed MRF tyres that will facilitate high straight line speeds and cornering grip.
At a post-launch media conference, Karthikeyan said: "It is undoubtedly the fastest racing car in Asia and it will provide an excellent opportunity for Indian youngsters to showcase their talent."
The list of drivers who will be piloting the swanky F2000 is being finalised while the car itself passed a crash test done at Dallara`s FIA-approved facility, according to chief engineer J. Anand.