Machdar Motorsports is understood to be in talks to raise close to Rs 200 crore through the private equity route to start i1 Super Series Championship next year.
Investment bankers close to the city-based company said talks were at advanced stages and the funding was expected to be closed in three months. Machdar, founded in 2010, would use the resources to pay drivers, cars and venues, they added.
The championship will have a prize money of $2 million. The company management offered not to comment on the fund raise.
The bankers said Machdar would initially take drivers on contract, after which the franchisees would be given the option of choosing them. Machdar has selected the Radical SR3, a two-seater having a powder-coated carbon steel-frame chassis, with an integral safety cell and aluminium honeycomb front-crash structure. “All these comply with the FIA Production Sports Car Safety Structure Test,” said a banker. “It will test drivers to the hilt when it touches 2.5G around the corners.”
Another banker said the races would “most probably” be hosted in West and Southeast Asia, besides India.
Also, the organisers are learnt to be in various stages of discussions with celebrities and corporations across India to finalise the team owners. Recent reports indicated that they had approached film actors Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla and Nagarjuna, besides crickets Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh.
The proposed single-make, single-seater sports car racing series, based on the popular franchisee format, will have nine teams representing as many cities in the country. Each team will race with two cars, thus forming a 18-car grid.
The event is expected to be held under the aegis of Federation of Motor Sport Clubs of India and the Federation of Internationale de l’Automobile. The cars will be of 1,500 cc and 260 bhp —and will be able to achieve a maximum speed of 250 kmph capable of touching 100 kmph in 3.1 seconds.