i1 Super Series Debut Season Calendar Gone For A Toss

The Indian Racing League’s i1 Super Series has been making news in the week after the inaugural Indian Grand Prix. First, it was the announcement of Shahrukh Khan owning the Mumbai franchise (Read post: Shahrukh Khan To Own The Mumbai Franchise Of The i1 Super Series) followed by Arindham Chaudhari buying the Delhi one (Read post: Arindham Chaudhari To Own The Delhi Franchise Of The i1 Super Series). They also announced a broadcast tie-up with Ten Sports for their series – all positive news coming through. (Read post: i1 Super Series Reveals Franchise Owners And More)
The first race of the series is scheduled on 8th January 2012 in Abu Dhabi, followed by the second race on 15th January 2012 in New Delhi at the Buddh International Circuit. The 2012 i1 Super Series calendar can be viewed here, but my point is not to share the calendar with you.
Of the 5 circuits that the series plans to race at next year, 2 seem to be not-ready. Reports came in yesterday that the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, which hosted the Indian Grand Prix, will be shut for repairs till March 2012. This means that the i1 Super Series, which planned to race there on 15th January and 26th February, may well have no venue to go racing in India. Not a good start in their debut year!
The other circuit that could potentially be in trouble is the Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, which was supposed to host the 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix, but was cancelled due to unrest in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Not much has been made public on the country’s state right now, but as we speak, even Formula1 is not too sure if it will visit Bahrain next season (while it is listed on the provisional calendar).
This means that in its debut season, the i1 Super Series organizers will have to make arrangement for alternate venues. While replacing Bahrain might not be too difficult, finding a replacement for the Buddh International Circuit might be next to impossible. There are only two other tracks that the i1 Super Series can race on; i.e. in Chennai and Coimbatore. But to be able to race the Radical SR3 car, the tracks will need to have proper grades and certifications as per the FIA norms. Finding a venue in India will be most critical for the organizers, since the series is aimed towards the Indian motorsport fan and hopes to make the most of the increasing Formula1 craze in the country.
Read the hot topic on the i1 Super Series on my blog: Should Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok race in the i1 Super Series

Kunal Shah is an FIA-accredited Formula 1 journalist who has been reporting on Formula 1 for nearly two decades. He worked with the Force India Formula 1 Team for 6 seasons in Marketing, Sponsorship and Commercial roles. As a former single-seater racer, he was responsible for Force India's grassroots talent program, One from a Billion Hunt. Presently, he co-writes a regular Formula 1 column for Firstpost, speaks on Inside Line F1 Podcast & Pits to Podium and produces broadcast/OTT content for NENT Group (Viasport & Viaplay).

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