Formula V1: The next step forward in motorsports
The pinnacle of motorsports is open-wheel, single-seater race cars, particularly Formula One and its American equivalent, Indy Car Racing.
The premise is the same: to keep the car as light and simple as possible devoid of creature comforts and partially exposed to the elements.
It takes years of experience, training and skill, plus talent coupled with a bit of luck to get to this level.
The top teams in Formula One spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year, despite the recent push to simplify the technology behind it, allowing for a more level playing field among all the teams.
At the opposite end is grass-roots motorsports: time trials, drag racing, slalom and gymkhana. The focus is skill, more than the technology behind the equipment.
Today, the Philippines is lucky to have a thriving motorsports scene, kick-started primarily by the Toyota Vios Cup One-Make Race Series, a professionally organized event backed up by the country’s leading automotive manufacturer, Toyota Motors Philippines.
Aside from the Vios Cup, also gaining popularity are rallye-cross slalom, and the Flat-Out Race Series, which helps bridge the gap between solo time-attack style runs and actual wheel-to-wheel racing.
Many FORS Veterans eventually find their way into the Vios Cup.
But grassroots all the way to Formula Racing is a very long way. Even to just get to any type of open-wheel formula car racing is difficult and expensive, and even with ample funding, a lack of opportunities makes it still harder.
Thankfully, another affordable stepping stone for aspiring racers is now available for the local motorsports scene.
Enter Formula V1. Tuason Racing, which is celebrating its 20 year anniversary this year, has realized that many race car drivers need affordable yet highly competitive motorsport opportunities before they can graduate to and excel in the international arena.
The four race weekends planned for 2018 will be held at the Clark International Speedway and the Batangas Racing Circuit, culminating in a 4-hour endurance event with driver changes and pitstops. Exciting indeed!
The Formula V1 race car is built by West Race Cars Japan. The tubular space frame chassis resembles older open-wheel formula cars and even Le Mans endurance race cars (essentially, a Formula Car but with a fully aero dynamic bodywork), clothed in a fiber reinforced composite body.
Power comes from the venerable 1.5 liter twin-cam 16-valve Toyota 1NZ-FE engine mounted midship, delivering 110 horsepower to the rear wheels via a 5-speed manual transmission, enough to propel the Formula V1 to a top-speed of 200 km/h.
It doesn’t seem much, until you realize that the Formula V1 race car weighs only 530 kg, about half the weight of a Toyota Vios/Yaris street car, and providing an impressive 207 bhp per tonne, enough to rival many of today’s modern performance cars.
Plans are afoot to source parts locally, and eventually manufacture the car in kit form in the country, and export abroad.
The first season will start in May. GITI Tires will be the main title sponsor for the first Formula V1 Season, and will be providing the spec tires for the race cars.
Cleanfuel will be the official fuel, while Motul comes aboard as official lubricants supplier and series sponsor.
The Formula V1 car will be on display at the World Trade Center during the MIAS.
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