New racing series are popping up all the time in different locations around the world. So what makes the new i1 Super Series special? Somehow, the organizers have managed to attract an enviable roster of former F1 drivers to participate.

The series, originally known as the Indian Racing League (but which probably changed names to avoid confusion with the defunct Indy Racing League), is a new spec racing series centered in Asia. For the inaugural season, it will be using the Radical SR3 (pictured above), a production-based, LMP-style sports car with a 1500cc Suzuki motorcycle engine custom-tuned to produce around 260 horsepower. That may not sound like much power, but with such a such a light frame, it's capable of hitting 60 in three seconds flat, cornering at nearly 2.5 Gs and consistently holds the lap record at the Nürburgring.

Nine teams (each representing a major city in India) will each field two cars: one piloted by an up-and-coming Indian driver, and one by an established pro. Those are being chosen from a pool that includes such notable talents as Jacques Villeneuve, Giancarlo Fisichella, Jean Alesi, Heinz-Haral Frentzen, Mika Salo and Sakon Yamamoto.

Ten races will be held in this inaugural season at five circuits: India's new Buddh circuit in New Delhi, Sepang in Malaysia, Losail in Qatar, Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain. Read more in the press release after the break.
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Jacques Villeneuve, Fisichella, Liuzzi, Chandhok confirmed for Indian-based motorsport league

MachdarMotorsports today officially launched the much anticipated i1 Supercar Series at Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi by unveiling an impressive list of drivers who will participate in the series. Drivers in the inaugural i1 Supercar Series will include 1997 Formula One Champion Jacques Villeneuve, 2011 Formula One drivers Vitantonio Liuzzi and Karun Chandhok, and former F1 race winners Giancarlo Fisichella, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Jean Alesi. Apart from the international drivers, the Indian drivers include Armaan Ebrahim, Aditya Patel and ParthivaSureswaren. At a dinner hosted by Darshan M, CEO, i1 Super Seriesalso announced the FIA approved calendar for the series with the first race in Sepang, Malaysia on January 22, 2012.

A visibly excited Darshan M, CEO, i1 Super Series said, "This is a big moment for us as we confirm our drivers and calendar for the inaugural season. As promised we have a fantastic line-up of proven international race winners mixed with young Indian drivers. The drivers will have their first taste of the Radical SR3 tomorrow so we will work closely with them to make the car even better. We are also proud to announce that we will have two women on the grid, who will comprise one team. With the first race being confirmed for January 22 in Malaysia the countdown starts now."

There will be a driver pool of 27 drivers with 18 drivers being chosen for each race weekend. The drivers for each race weekend will be chosen by the teams themselves. The i1 Supercar Series also announced that there will be a woman line-up on the grid with Indycar driver Pippa Mann and Cyndie. Other drivers confirmed for the series includes former F1 drivers Sakon Yamamoto, Alex Yoong, Red Bull demo driver Neel Janiand former Ferrari and Sauber driver Mika Salo.

i1 Supercar Series Calendar:
January 21/22 – Sepang, Malaysia
February 3/4 – Sakhir, Bahrain
February 10/11 – Losail, Qatar
February 25/26 – BIC, India
March 9/10 – Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi

International Drivers
Jacques Villeneuve
Giancarlo Fisichella
Vitantonio Liuzzi
Karun Chandhok
Jean Alesi
Heinz-Harald Frentzen
Alex Yoong
Sakon Yamamoto
Mika Salo
Pippa Mann

Indian International
Neel Jani
Armaan Ebrahim
Parthiva Sureswaren
Zaamin Jaffer
Mathias Lauda
Aditya Patel
Akhil Khushlani
Phiroze Billmoria
Cyndie Allemann

Indian Drivers
Gaurav Dalal
Ashwin Sundar
Vishnu Prasad
Chirag Malhotra
Abdul Ahmed
Raj Bharath
Ameya Walavalkar
Sahil Shelar
Amittrajit Ghosh
Sailesh Bolisetti
Parth Ghorpade

About i1 series:

i1 Supercar Series is the all new motorsport racing league promoted by Machdar Motorsport. The i1 Supercar Series will consist of 10 races with 9 teams representing different Indian cities. The inaugural i1 Supercar Series season will begin in January 2012 and be held in India, UAE, Malaysia, Bahrain and Qatar. The teams will race the Radical Sportscars' SR3 roadster in the sports car racing series. Each team will be represented by two drivers. At least one driver for each team must be a driver of Indian origin. Teams will compete for a USD 2 Million prize.

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