Presenting the Formula Rolon car
LG Sports hopes to take the elitist tag off motor sport with its Formula Rolon car
This is one special project that LG Sports will love to finish as quickly as it can. The motor sport company, promoters of the Kari Motor Speedway in Chettipalayam, is now working on an all-new Formula Rolon Car that is quick and relatively cost effective.
Two years ago, when LG Sports rolled out its Formula LGB cars, they turned out to be a hit. Powered with Esteem 1300cc carburetted engines, helped gauge skill and class better. To make it more competitive for the drivers, the company is now coming out with the Formula Rolon.
Says B. Vijayakumar, Managing Director of LG Balakrishnan & Bros., "Racing is definitely not for the poor. But, we have managed to bring down costs and take racing to the middle class from when it was just for the rich."
If somebody wants to race overseas, he has to be rich. "That is something lacking. How many people can afford a grid of 15 cars paying Rs 11 lakhs per car? And, the additional expenses on maintenance and spare parts?"
He says even at the rate of Rs 30,000 an event, drivers are fighting hard for sponsors. "So how many boys are going to pay a lakh or two to run one race? Impossible. That would mean taking the sport back to the rich, which is not our idea."
To combat this, Vijayakumar says they have imported the Formula Asia cars to replicate as many safety features as possible. "We have redesigned it for Indian applications. We are talking to various engine car manufacturers and are close to tying up with a local manufacturer to get engines free of cost."
He says they are making a trans-axle gearbox where the engine can be fit north and south. "The cars that we are building will be closest to international specifications - close to F3. It will be released in July or August."
About the pricing, he points out that a Formula BMW costs more than 55,000 euros and an F3 car about 115,000 euros. "We are looking at a price up to Rs. 5 lakhs for our cars. If the engine comes free, it will work out around Rs. 4 lakhs." The increased cost is due to the expensive gearbox (Rs. 1.5 lakhs)
He says the company initially intends to build about 10 cars and these will run in the championship class next year. "These cars will run in Chennai, Coimbatore, Goa and the other tracks. By June or July, we'll have the prototype two-seater and the F1500 Rolon.
"I somehow want to get the grid going for Formula Rolon before the year end and run two support races. This is basically to test its performance because even the best-engineered cars sometimes fail," says Vijayakumar.
LG Sports has just a little time on hand to get the car and the engine together, but Vijayakumar believes it can be done because of his "rich experience in building cars."
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