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Drove a Formula 1500 car for the first time: Here's my experience

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I had to not only get used to the Formula-style seating position but also left foot braking and shifting the Dog-leg box gear which literally has to be yanked down for upshifts and up with a smack of the throttle for downshift.

BHPian lilios recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

This has been a long time coming and I have prepared for this slowly over the past year. First I got my Bell carbon fibre helmet and Baclava, then OMP gloves, to finally getting my full OMP race suit with FIA approval and fireproof inners. As splashing all at once would become too much expense for me. And I wanted to get the best as it was a one-time expense on safety.

Coming to the moment:

I had been in touch with JA Motorsport who own and run the formula cars, for some while but due to a lack of proper dates from both sides we had to wait.

When finally it happened I had to write them a mail stating my previous experience on track and that I have driven any other single-seater before. You may require an FMSCI license as well in case you plan to race.

Once it was finalised I was called a day prior for my seating fitting. They had mixed resin and got me a seat made just for my body while I was wearing my full race suit and helmet. It was such a cool experience. I was also given basics on the cars. How the DOG gearbox worked and how the pedals are oriented.

The Experience:

Right from my seat fitting to making me comfortable with the car, JA Motorsport were most professional people. The most intense engine I have driven to date is the new 1.5-litre Honda i-Vtec engine ahead of the old Ford 1.6-litre.

I had to not only get used to the Formula-style seating position but also left foot braking and shifting the Dog-leg box gear which literally has to be yanked down for upshifts and up with a smack of the throttle for downshift. This took almost 3 sessions to get used to and I literally had to keep a tissue in my glove to stop my skin peeling from my palms.

Physically the G forces took a toll on my body. The more I began to push the more physically demanding it became and by the 4th session, my hands were no longer able to hold the steering wheel. I had to pit in between for a break and only do a single lap after that before giving up. My height of 6ft 2 inches also created its own challenges where I took time to get comfortable with pedals, steering and gearshift action as there was not enough room. But the JA motorsport people took all the efforts to the point of adjusting the foam on my seat twice, adjusting the position of the gear knob and taping it with a sponge so my hand doesn’t get blistered. My fitness was truly tested and now I appreciate all the single-seater drivers for their fitness.

I wasn’t able to even get up from the car with my own power after the 4th session and also unable to remove my helmet.

I literally had to fight the steering with no power assistance and bang the gear so hard it felt like I was hurting both the car and myself but that’s the way the car is.

It was a fabulous day of learning and special thanks to Uberwerkstatt, J.D Sir and JA Motorsport for allowing me to drive. It has been a long time coming. I am happy I kept the car on track and improved session by session without any prior experience.

Here are some pictures

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