Indian Racing League: All you need to know ahead of race weekend
Like the Indian Premier League which delighted cricket enthusiasts with an action-packed calendar and the concept of city-based teams, the Indian Racing League is set out to do just that for motorsport. Formerly known as the X1 Racing League, the Indian Racing League or IRL will be hosted at the Madras International Circuit in Chennai as well as the Formula E street circuit in Hyderabad. IRL will consist of six teams fielding two cars each, and each team will consist of four drivers. The first race of the IRL will be held in Hyderabad on November 19-20, and here’s everything you need to know ahead of the race weekend.
Indian Racing League: What is it?
The Indian Racing League first came to life in the form of the X1 Racing league. The league-style racing series was the brainchild of racers Armaan Ebrahim and Aditya Patel, and it followed a city-based franchise model with a mix of Indian and international racing drivers.
The Indian Racing League is only building on that concept, with six city-based teams. Each team will consist of four racers – two international drivers, an Indian racer and a lady driver as well, with the IRL putting men and women racers in the same ecosystem to compete against each other.
Indian Racing League: Season calendar
IRL will be hosted at two circuits, the Madras International Circuit outside Chennai and the Hyderabad street circuit will host the Formula e-prix in 2023. The season opener will take place on November 19-20 at the Hyderabad street circuit, followed by races at the Madras International Circuit on November 25-27 and December 2-4. The season finale of the IRL will take place at the Hyderabad street circuit on December 10-11.
The Hyderabad street circuit was designed by Driven International, and for the IRL, the circuit is now longer than its earlier 2.37km length – now being 2.83km long. The circuit now features more corners than before too, with the promise of providing more exciting action on track.
Indian Racing League: Faster race cars
In an earlier conversation with Aditya Patel at the first announcement of the IRL, a racing driver who was part of the core team that organised the earlier X1 Racing League had mentioned that in the earlier series the cars were a problem. With the IRL, that promises not to be the case, thanks to the new race cars from Wolf Racing. Each team will be running Wolf Racing’s GB08 Thunder race car built to FIA specs. The teams can tweak the setup of their cars by adjusting the front lip and the rear wing for better aero, but apart from that, all the teams have cars made to run identically.
Powering the Thunder race cars is the engine from an Aprilia RSV4. The engine is offered in two displacements, a 1-litre and a 1.1-litre producing 198bhp and 216bhp respectively. While the state of tune has not been officially confirmed for the IRL cars, the low weight of the carbonfibre monocoque at just 378 kg means that the IRL cars would be potent performers on the racetrack. During the pre-season testing of the IRL cars at the MMRT in Chennai, Ruhaan Alva, who recently represented India in Formula 4 at the 2022 Formula Motorsport Games and will be racing for the team GodSpeed Kochi told us that the power offered by the IRL race car was quite a step up from what Indian racing drivers are used to. That said, Ruhaan seemed to welcome the challenge and it will be very exciting to see the cars in their element over the race weekend.
The Indian Racing League promises to fan the flames of enthusiasm amongst motorsport aficionados in the country with a format that promises to be more exciting and one that will further bolster the racing scene in India. And while you may liken the Indian Racing League to that of an IPL for race cars, there’s no doubt that it will help attract newer enthusiasts towards motorsport. As for us, we cannot wait to see how the race weekend unfolds!