Fledgling Indian motorsport series, the i1 Super Series, hit another hitch today, with a two-month postponement.
The Supercar championship which was due to start in two weeks has been pulled due to local district elections. It’s a decision sure to cause extreme embarrassment for series promoters, Machdar Motorsports, especially with the running of the 11th Auto Expo in New Delhi this week.
Darshan M, CEO of series promoter Machdar motorsports was quoted in the Hindustan Times as saying:
“…the Buddh International Circuit has been asked by the district administration not to have any public events close to the dates of polling. As such, we have to postpone our whole calendar since the Indian race is central to the interests of team owners and sponsors.”
Despite suspicions of a lack of investment, Darshan also said the several franchises are on board, heavily reducing the cost of the series to the promoter; however the names of those franchises have not been revealed yet.
The i1 Super Series has already suffered several setbacks, with a number of previous postponements and calendar rescheduling. The series was originally to begin in December of last year, before a six-round schedule was confirmed to start this month.
That became five rounds when the opener at the Yas Marina circuit was cancelled, although the series’ visit to the Abu Dhabi venue is still pencilled in.
Beyond the obvious delay, this postponement presents a secondary problem for Machdar Motorsports. Should the i1 Super Series actually begin in March as they now hope, the series will find a number of its International Driver class returning to their primary championships.
Of the International contingent, Giancarlo Fisichella, Armaan Ebrahim and Mika Salo will be returning to their respective seats. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Karun Chandhok, Neel Jani, Pippa Mann, Sakon Yamamoto and Mathias Lauda all are in the process of landing full or part-time drives in their various categories.
Jean Alesi and Cyndie Allemann are also preparing for drives in the US.
The i1 Super Series was due to start at Malaysia this month, followed by events in Bahrain, Qatar, India and Abu Dhabi. It is hoped the series will finally begin in late March.