The 2012 Calendar Of The i1 Super Series Revised For The Third Time
The organisers of the Indian Racing League’s i1 Super Series have been under some stress to reshuffle and rearrange their debut racing calendar. I had written an earlier post which spoke about a possible postponement of the i1 Super Series to April (Read post: The i1 Super Series Calendar Is Further Postponed), however, a quick visit to their website revealed yet another change in the calendar.
The revised i1 Super Series Calendar dates are as follows:
i1 Super Prix Qatar, 11th February 2012 (Losail International Circuit)
i1 Super Prix Bahrain, 25th February 2012 (Bahrain International Circuit)
i1 Super Prix Abu Dhabi, 10th March 2012 (Yas Marina Circuit)
i1 Super Prix Dubai, 17th March 2012 (Dubai Autodrome)
i1 Super Prix New Delhi, 1st April 2012 (Buddh International Circuit)
The above calendar is the third revision by my calculations, just about the number of rule changes that Formula1 undergoes during every season.
However, I would say that this calendar does make some sense, considering that the series was postponed for two main reasons; first, non-availability of the Buddh International Circuit till end-March and second, the state elections in Uttar Pradesh. As expected and largely voiced by every motorsport journalist and fan in the country, the organisers have slotted the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) as the final race of the calendar, thereby making the most of the months BIC is not available by racing elsewhere!
Sepang, which is one of the most favoured racing destinations in Asia, has been dropped as a hosting venue and I am sure this is because of date clashes with MotoGP, Formula1 and / or other series it would host. Replacing Sepang is the Dubai Autodrome Circuit, which also means that the series will be racing only in the Middle East and India. Will it be missing out on the large motorsport audience in the far-east?
There is no word on the driver confirmations yet, which I think will need to be re-done considering that the series is no longer a ‘winter season only’. My assumption would be that currently active drivers like Chandhok, Liuzzi, Ebrahim, Patel, Jani, etc. would have difficulty in confirming to the entire calendar as these proposed dates could clash with their regular racing calendar which would usually start in March. Does this mean that a new list of drivers could be announced by the organisers?
While the broadcast of the i1 Super Series will overlap the opening round of the 2012 Formula1 season, the 2012 Australian Grand Prix (which will be held from 16th to 18th March 2012), the organisers have planned well to ensure that their series concludes before the start of the Indian Premier League. This could possibly be the smartest commercial decision yet! And an overlap with the 2012 Australian Grand Prix broadcast might just work in their favour. Historically, the broadcast of the Australian GP ends by mid-day latest and if Ten Sports were to plan their broadcast to start around the same hour, there would well be some spillover viewership that could be achieved. (Scheduling geniuses at work?)
The other interesting observation that I have made and could be ‘blamed’ as ‘over-reading’ is that all dates of the proposed calendar fall on a ‘Saturday’, except for the New Delhi Super Prix. One wonders if this is an oversight or if the plan is to end the i1 Super Prix on Saturdays itself! Again, scheduling issues forcing this change?
And last and hopefully the least, this calendar is a proposed one and yet to be approved by the FIA. Do you still want me to comment further?
For those new to motorsport and the concept of i1 Super Series, do read my introductory piece here – Indian Racing League is launched, welcome the i1 Super Series
You can also get to know more about the series by listening to the i1 Super Series podcast.
Most read i1 Super Series topic on my blog: Should Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok drive in the i1 Super Series