Champs lined up for GP Masters

Formula 1 stars of the past are set to go head-to-head once again in identical high-powered single-seaters in the new Grand Prix Masters series scheduled to start in 2005, according to an exclusive report in this week's Autosport magazine

Champs lined up for GP Masters

Former World Champions Alan Jones, Keke Rosberg and Nigel Mansell have been targeted as organisers attempt to replicate the huge success of seniors tennis and golf tours. A well-known F1 deal broker is believed to be on the verge of tying up the necessary funding to turn the idea into a reality.

British firm Zytek Engineering has already started work on the GP Masters chassis, which will be fitted with a 3.4-litre V8 engine.

Zytek chassis chief Trevor Foster said: "We have been charged with producing something faster than a GP2 car. We will have wide-track chassis with carbon brakes and a paddle gearshift, powered by an engine that produces in excess of 600bhp."

The cars will be designed to accommodate the larger frames of the older drivers, and a maximum of 20 cars will be centrally prepared. Drivers will be urged to interact with the public on race weekends, which will be made up of short, sharp events.

The GP Masters is projected to begin next September with a winter series of between three and five races.

Former Grand Prix winner Jean Alesi, who now races in the DTM with Mercedes, told Autosport: "I'm considering it. I'm sure I would fit in well with this new Championship. However, I would have to consider my long-term involvement with Mercedes in the DTM."

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