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Old 13th February 2008, 05:53   #1
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Pictures - MRF F-1600 Launch - a photoset on Flickr

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It’s good news for all race enthusiasts. The MRF Formula 1600 race car is here. India’s catching up fast with developed nations. Indians have been proving their gut for speed here and abroad. Narain Karthikeyan has been doing us proud with his successive victories.
The launch of the race car here is truly fodder for excitement. Budding race car enthusiasts can now train in a genuine race car. The MRF Formula 1600 is manufactured by British-based motorsports firm Elan Motorsports Technologies (EMI) and is currently priced at Rs.15 lakh. It will be powered by a 155 bhp 1.6-liter 16-valve Ford Duratec engine which is currently used across the world in small race cars. The lightweight engine enables better throttle for the car.

The car will undergo critical tests during February for power and performance after which it will be assembled in the country and released to the public. It’s expected to be ready before the coming year’s Indian National Racing Championship where MRF plans to launch 10 of these in the event.
Indian Car Automobile Blog Online from Carazoo.com, India's First Interactive Car Portal

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ON THE face of it, it seems like a competition between the two big tyre companies. Although neither is ready to admit, the fact remains that two of the big changes in the last month or so in Indian motorsport circuit have come pretty close to each other.
Just a month ago, MRF announced their new Formula MRF 1600 cc to feature in their annual Touring Car championship. On Thursday, JK Tyre announced the introduction of pit stops (in Enduro with Formula Hyundai) in their National Championships. That apart, they said that it will be the first time that all the teams have got financial backing from companies.
The idea, both say, is to bring international quality racing to India.
"What we felt was that most of the cars that were racing in India were not of international class. They were indigenously produced. So we felt that it was necessary for us to import the best to India," a MRF spokesperson said.
The car that they will be using will be of 2007 specification and has been designed by Elan Motorsports.
However, when it will see the light of the day hasn't been decided as yet. "We will have to test the car before it can be used in our annual championship."
The JK Tyre-backed Nationals will have a new look. Apart from the Enduro with Formula Hyundai, where there will be pit stops for the first time, we'll see the introduction of reverse grids for the top eight teams like in GP2 series. There will be six rounds in Chennai and Coimbatore of two classes Formula LGB Swift and Formula Rolon Chevrolet.
Asked whether the changes were a reaction to MRF introducing their Formula MRF 1600 cc, JK Tyre's Vicky Chandhok, the brain behind the changes said, "No. There is no connection but I think it should make the races a bit more interesting."
MotorSport circuit set to get keener- Hindustan Times

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The MRF Tyres recently launched their F-1600 Formula racing car in Chennai, India. The car was designed and built in the UK. MRF would be racing 10 of these cars at their series in 2008. The imported chassis has a 1.6 litre Ford Fiesta engine. MRF will thus be returning to Formula racing after nearly 10 years.
MRF F-1600 Launch - a photoset on Flickr


Any chance of this competing with the Formula Chevrolets?

Last edited by khanak : 13th February 2008 at 05:57.
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Old 13th February 2008, 06:27   #2
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Is this by any chance the same engine that runs in the insanely quick MRF track Fiestas?
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Old 13th February 2008, 06:37   #3
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Originally Posted by islero View Post
Is this by any chance the same engine that runs in the insanely quick MRF track Fiestas?
Here are the specs


The specs are as under:

DRIVE TRAIN

Ford 1.6 Litre Duratec Engine.
Alloy head and block.
Twin cam, 16 valves.
Horsepower: 150-155 bhp @ 6800rpm.
Electronic fuel ignition.
5 speed sequential gearbox.

PERFORMANCE

Acceleration 1 -100 Kmph on 4 Seconds.
Top Speed - 250 Kmph Plus (Depending on gear ratios for different tracks).

SUSPENSION

Advanced push rod activated system operating on wide based oval section wishbones with intrusion bar requirements.
Alloy casting, heat treated uprights with large diameter angular contact bearings.
Front anti-sway bars fully adjustable.
Sealed adjustable dampers.

CHASSIS

Multi tubular steel space frame extensively braced in the cockpit and footwall areas.

BODYWORK

Formula 1 design features of a high nose, deep side pods and an engine cover with an encompassing the roll hoop.

BRAKES

Lightweight4 piston calipers.
10-1/2" diameter discs all around.
Cockpit adjustable bias.

WHEELS

Front: 8 x 13.
Rear: 10 x 13.

TYRES

Front - MRF 200/540 R13
Rear - MRF 240/570 R13.

DIMENSIONS

Wheel base: 2532mm
Front track: 1382mm
Rear track: 1385mm
Weight: 430Kg
Front overhang: 900mm
Rear overhang: 540mm

AERODYNAMICS

Front wing: Full width, adjustable
Rear wing: Two upper elements, lower element mounted on gearbox
Bottom: Flat

OTHER

Detachable steering wheel' with inbuilt display
Dry cell battery
On-board 2.5 kg fire system
Six point safety harness
Fuel tank mounted behind the driver's seat - 32 Litres


MRF F-1600 Launch - a photoset on Flickr
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Old 13th February 2008, 09:43   #4
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Any chance of this competing with the Formula Chevrolets?
I would suspect so. But i think the MRF and JK racing championships run differently, this would be an entry for "formula" cars into the MRF season.

Good effort, but hope we see more sponsors coming in.
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Old 13th February 2008, 09:47   #5
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Looks like the powertrain is straight from the Formula Ford. But for sure this car won't be cheap to buy or race.

I don't understand the motivation behind making a 15 lakh racecar when there arent enough people interested in racing the 3 lakh ones.
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Old 13th February 2008, 09:49   #6
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Originally Posted by madan80 View Post
I would suspect so. But i think the MRF and JK racing championships run differently, this would be an entry for "formula" cars into the MRF season.

Good effort, but hope we see more sponsors coming in.
I dont think MRF will run their cars in the JK Tyre NRC. Are the Formula Chevrolet cars sponsored by JK? Or are they nowhere close to the f1600s.


It would be interesting for MRF and JK to take their old rally rivalry to the track.

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Old 13th February 2008, 09:50   #7
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Originally Posted by ananthkamath View Post
I don't understand the motivation behind making a 15 lakh racecar when there arent enough people interested in racing the 3 lakh ones.
I guess MRF will be sponsoring their own team just like their rally team. Which ones are for 3 lakhs? The Formula marutis or the formula swifts?
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Old 13th February 2008, 10:00   #8
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That price was just a ballpark estimate because we had the chance to buy an older Formula Maruti rolling chassis for like 50k. Passed on it since there are at most 5 cars on the grid plus it makes no sense to do only 6 or 7 events a year, if that.

The point I'm trying to make is that nobody is interested in the grassroots level side of motorsports......most youngsters are just blinded by the glamour and the thrills. Motorsport is a lot of hard work, sweat and blood too, even if you don't prep the car yourself.

I'd say less than 1% of this forum's members would actually be interested in something like this let alone participating in one. Simply because the rest, including me, can't relate to it. Its way out of reach; even if you can afford one, your pockets will empty very, very quickly when you begin racing.

What we need is a simple, down-to-earth way of getting more and more people interested in racing. The guy who comes up with that will be the next Karivardhan.
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Old 13th February 2008, 10:13   #9
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Originally Posted by ananthkamath View Post
That price was just a ballpark estimate because we had the chance to buy an older Formula Maruti rolling chassis for like 50k.
Thats not bad at all. So I guess you could have a running Formula Maruti for about 1.5 lakhs? How are they to drive?

I guess most people wont be able to afford to race cars like this themselves but if the big teams run it Im sure it would be interesting to follow.
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Old 13th February 2008, 10:26   #10
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Originally Posted by ananthkamath View Post

The point I'm trying to make is that nobody is interested in the grassroots level side of motorsports......most youngsters are just blinded by the glamour and the thrills. Motorsport is a lot of hard work, sweat and blood too, even if you don't prep the car yourself.

What we need is a simple, down-to-earth way of getting more and more people interested in racing. The guy who comes up with that will be the next Karivardhan.
I get what your trying to say but dont you think more people would like to see one of these f1600s race as compared to a Formula Maruti. People want to see somthing thats faster and more powerful. More people getting interested in the sport means more money comming in from sponsors.

I guess at the end of the day it all depends on how many teams are actually willing to put some money into this and run a team throughout the season.
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Old 13th February 2008, 21:41   #11
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Well from that perspective, maybe you're right. Maybe that's what MRF is trying to do: getting spectator interest by trying to make the cars more exciting.

But here's the thing: its not the cars that will pull spectators. Its the racing. Its the personalities of the drivers. Why do you think NASCAR is so successful? Definitely not because of the cars. Even F1 is trying to get everyone on a level-playing field by making the cars slower and creating a more level-playing field. I dare say that the cars from the Turbo F1 era were much hairier and exciting to watch, but hey, the racing wasn't close enough because of the technical complexity.

The main point I was trying to make is that, with this type of car, I don't see more than 5 or 6 cars on the grid if that. And who will be most interested in coming to watch? Other than the friends & families of those involved, I'm sure that even the most hardcore of hardcore enthusiasts would get bored pretty quickly unless the racing itself is more exciting.

IMHO, MRF could have killed two birds with one stone if they had poured all their money in trying to get more and more drivers involved than making a F1 lookalike formula car. And the only way to do that is cheaper cars and cheaper racing.
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Old 13th February 2008, 22:09   #12
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well, the formula rolon chevrolets are part sponsored. not by JK but by the company that builds them and Chevy that provides the engine / trannys and GBS. what would be ideal is the FRCs vs the F1600... quite a sight!
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Old 13th February 2008, 22:20   #13
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I guess something similar to the rallying scene will happen. MRF will obviously want some returns on their investment and will use this opportunity to publicize the event and get as much exposure for their team as possible. Im sure a lot more people know or have atleast heard of Gaurav Gill as compared to as compared to Ashwin Sunder. All MRF has to do is put money into the sport and get as much exposure for it as possible and more and more people will get interested in it. IMO what we really need is two or mroe teams like MRF and JK having almost equal cars and battling it out on the circuit. Things will get really interesting then.
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Old 13th February 2008, 22:21   #14
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Originally Posted by madan80 View Post
well, the formula rolon chevrolets are part sponsored. not by JK but by the company that builds them and Chevy that provides the engine / trannys and GBS. what would be ideal is the FRCs vs the F1600... quite a sight!
I think you are talking about LGB that owns the ROLON brand of chains and sprockets.
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Old 13th February 2008, 22:31   #15
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yup... was not too sure on the name. Well, LGB built only about 12 cars, and sold them to the teams who run it. if I remember correctly, NK Racing, Team Amaron with Meco, Red Rooseter Racing, Rams racing, Gemini Racing, Prime racing and Meco Racing have been given the cars.
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