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Formula X to be unveiled

Formula X, a new one-make sportscar series, is to be officially unveiled at AUTOSPORT International at the NEC in Birmingham between January 8-11. It will support four rounds of the 2004 Le Mans Endurance Series next year

Formula X to be unveiled

Formula X is a turnkey, arrive-and-drive series for lightweight Van Diemen chassis, powered by two-litre engines that produce 200bhp.

Formula X Corporation CEO, Claude Chantala, said: "Our aim is provide a series in which young drivers can race with competitive vehicles but without having to pay the vast sums of money required to run in other series and championships. To achieve these goals all the cars will be technically identical in our series.

"To maintain parity throughout the season one team of mechanics and engineers will service and maintain all the cars. Drivers show up at the beginning of the weekend draw a chassis number and race that car. The budget required for a season is set at €36,000 per driver."

Eight one-hour races for two-driver teams will be run at LMES races at Monza, Silverstone, Spa and the Nurburgring. Pitstops and driver changes will be mandatory.

The Van Diemen chassis can be transformed from sportscars to single-seaters and back, and thus be used for other championships. Series organisers plan to extend its scope outside Europe in the future.

"Once the European series is up and running, we will take the concept to the Middle East for a winter series, starting in October at tracks in Dubai, Bahrain, and Qatar, while we are also looking at setting up a series in Southeast Asia," added Chantala. "Whether these championships will run as sportscars or single seaters will depend on local interest and the organisers in those areas."

Fellow Formula X co-founder Eric van de Poele, a former Brabham F1 driver, said: "Formula X is, in my view, the best series around when it comes to having fun for an affordable budget. With 200bhp for just 455kgs there is ample power available to have fast and close racing."

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