Narain Karthikeyan tests Speedcars
Narain Karthikeyan, AT&T BMW Williams F1 Test Driver, along with Indonesian saloon car racer Moreno Soeprapto and his brother Ananda Mikola were joined by Swiss regional stock car racer Alexandre Maus and Italian rally driver Nico Caldarola, to test two of the championship's 650bhp cars at the Dubai Autodrome, completing over 60 laps in total.
Commenting after their runs the drivers agreed that the Speedcars offer race drivers an exceptionally fun racing experience which will create tight competition and good entertainment for the crowds.
"I had a good feel for the car, expecting some sliding from such a heavy car I had no surprises.
But I have to say the car is a good car, despite its weight it is very balanced and pretty forgiving, it has a strong engine and is quick on the straight. The breaking distances are very long compared to those of single-seater cars of course and that took some getting used to.
The Speedcar will create a close grid which will promote good racing and overtaking. The end of each of the Speedcar races should be very interesting as the tires will be run down and physical exhaustion will overcome most drivers, it will be interesting to see the battle between the younger and former F1 star drivers. It was really a fun car to drive, the weather was a challenge though with over 40 degrees Centigrade it gets very hot in the car.
I look forward to coming back and seeing some more of the Speedcars."
"It's a fantastic car with lots of over steer because of the powerful 650bhp engine which demands quite technical driving. I expected the breaking in the corners to be much later, however, this car demands earlier breaking and the car is slightly nervous while under breaking conditions but its fun and should deliver a great show. Its extremely hot inside the car and it will be a tough drive during races, drivers will need to be very fit. Young as old will need to have a lot of endurance to handle these cars over the full race distance."
Over the laps I started feeling the rhythm of the car better and better and became more comfortable. I am tremendously looking forward to start the Championship in November.
"The car is so much fun with a lot of under and over steering. It did surprise me after the second lap and shot me into a spin, but even that was fun. I am pleased that thereafter my times were really quick.
I love single-seater racing but have to say that today I truly had fun in the Speedcar."
"I imagined the car to be a lot more violent and my biggest surprise was to find the car nice and smooth to drive handling well.
The car is scary from the outside, big and chunky, however once inside it is a pleasure to drive, though the heat today was just outrageous. You have to plan the breaking distance well beforehand because its quite a heavy car but the handling in turns is good.
For me coming from Switzerland driving in a regional championship it was an honor today to test here and a great accomplishment. I would recommend this series to any driver who can compete on this level of motorsports.
The Dubai track was new to me and for that I think I performed quite well believing that I will be competitive in the Speedcar Championship, however, my first and main target is to learn from such professionals as Jean Alesi and his fellow Speedcar Drivers."
The test was being used by drivers and engineers to perform tests on a new break system, not to search for ultimate lap times.