Organisers Expecting High Speeds

Organisers of the new Grand Prix Masters series are already predicting top speeds in excess of 200mph at some tracks following the initial shakedown of the car this week

Organisers Expecting High Speeds

Development driver Bob Berridge completed the first two days running of the GP Masters car at Pembrey in Wales this week to leave the team hopeful that the 3.4-litre V8-powered car will deliver excitement when the series kicks off in South Africa later this year.

"At a race track with really high top speeds like Monza (Italy) we expect the GP Masters cars to touch 200mph on the long straights," said Simon Dowson, the operations director of Delta Motorsport that are overseeing the work on the car.

"They will corner really well and that means that over a long race drivers will be subjected to some serious g-forces. Consequently one of the key aims of our test programme so far has been to ensure that the steering is not too heavy.

"I'm pleased to say that Bob Berridge, who is acting as a consultant to Grand Prix Masters, tells us that the car is really easy to drive at high speeds. Bob has driven many powerful Formula One cars in his racing career, so we are very pleased to with his feedback so far."

The work conducted at Pembrey this week is only the first stage of a major development programme planned for the car - with the intention of ensuring that any problems with the chassis are ironed out before the action kicks off in anger.

"It is pretty intense from here to the first race," added Dowson. "We have already conducted the scheduled shakedown work and the next stage is to generate serious mileage to see how it holds up.

"We will work every area of the car as hard as we can - in reality the object is to try and break it - so that we can find out if we need to make any adjustments or changes before the first race in Kyalami on 13th November."

Dowson has also revealed that the series organisers will make moves to ensure that there is as much equality as possible between the cars for the Grand Prix Masters races - especially on the weight front.

"We will keep a close eye on how much drivers can adjust their cars," he said. "The plan is only to allow limited adjustment in areas such as aerodynamics, ride height, suspension settings and so on. We will even choose gearbox ratios before we get to the track to ensure that all the cars are as closely matched as possible.

"I think you can compare them to a modern GP2 car and say that while in performance terms they will be very equal our cars will be more driver-friendly and certainly will slide around a bit more because we will be able to control the set-up and development at every race.

"In the interest of equality we will also guarantee that every car that starts the race will weight exactly the same. We have weighed every driver during seat fittings and will do so again at every race. We will then add ballast to the lighter cars to make sure that no-one has a weight advantage. Even with all this factored in, these cars will be seriously lightweight racers - no more than 600kg before the driver climbs aboard."

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