FG1000: New classes and pricing structure set to boost Formula Gulf grid for next season

May 6th 2014 – Celebrating 10 years in the motor racing business, GulfSport Racing announces major enhancements and cost reductions to its established UAE single seater race series and driver development academy.

  • Two Classes a Championship Class (age 15 to 24) and a Masters Class (age 25 and above)
  • Owner-Drivers race cars for sale to registered drivers
  • Race Budget for the 2014/14 season reduced by AED 50,000 courtesy of Gulf Oil International (Technical Partner)
  • Power increased to 160bhp in line with FIA Formula 4 recommendations
  • Reverse grid for race two at each event

As race entries opened on the 1st May, GulfSport received applications from two experienced local drivers who both plan to purchase cars for the new Masters Class.

GulfSport’s Martin Hope said, “We let it be known that we might open Formula Gulf up to experienced drivers this season and allow them to buy cars. The response was immediate and probably because if a driver invests in a car, his racing budget is halved. The savings from just one season pay for the car. And as if that wasn’t good enough, when the driver exits he sells the car and gets much of that investment back”.

A number of racing drivers have graduated through the academy over the past 3 seasons

With two ‘gentlemen drivers’ jumping at the chance of joining the fun, GulfSport’s Barry Hope remarked that there are likely to be plenty more where they came from.

“After a decade of running race cars in this region, we understand why gentlemen drivers spend their hard earned money on motor racing. Its about having fun with their mates, reasonable costs, reliable cars and a level playing field, and this is exactly what Formula Gulf is all about. Keverne McShine and Neil Greer are both long-term amateur racers and so know what good looks like. We are absolutely delighted to work with them as we consider them both as friends of the GulfSport family. And as it happens, I have spoken to another dozen similarly experienced drivers all of whom are now evaluating the Masters Class. Of course they won’t all do it, but I’m certain that quite a few will.”

The previous three seasons of Formula Gulf 1000 attracted many talented KF3 and Rotax karters and Formula BMW racers mainly from the GCC and S.E.Asia, and this trend is set to continue and strengthen with the new Championship Class,” said Martin Hope.

“Ambitious young drivers need the expert advice of a professional coach to help them master the art of driving a slicks and wings Formula car properly. They also need quality seat time before they move up to a more expensive series like FIA Formula 4 or Formula Renault 2.0. With two world-class and hugely experienced driver coaches in Andy Pardoe and Tommy Erdos, and our cars from the man that built and ran the Van Diemen F.Ford chassis for a 21 year old Ayrton Senna, safe circuits and that many of our graduates are able to move up with confidence. With Formula Gulf now way less than half of the 100,000 Euros that will required to do FIA Formula 4, it’s a no brainer”.

Over recent seasons Formula Gulf has produced and promoted some exceptional young talent including Tom Bale, Natasha Seatter, Nick Canal, Saeed Bintouq, Weiron Tan, Rahul Mayer, Mohammed Al Mutawaa and Joe Ghanem and this trend is likely to continue with the signing of Tejas Hirani who was a finalist in the FIA Institute’s 2013/14 Young Driver Excellence Academy selection program for Africa. Hirani plans to test with GulfSport on the Dubai Autodrome next month.

With the recent growth of UAE karting and the demise of the BMW Talent Cup several other prominent young karters are expected to train and race in the Ralph Firman built Formula Gulf car, which compares very well with the FIA’s Formula 4 specification, alongside several drivers returning from last season.

The 2014/15 Formula Gulf Championship (www.FG1000.net) kicks off in October with events at the Dubai Autodrome and Yas Marina Circuit.

 

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