On this slow news day I'm bringing you an obscure Motorsports story from India, introducing a Chevrolet international racing series where the cars are powered by GM Daewoo engines. - Ming
Formula Rolon Chevrolet
"In India the 1.6 Litre engine used in the Chevrolet Optra (GM Daewoo Lacetti / Holden Viva / Suzuki Forenza) powers the Single seater Formula Car called Formula Rolon.The series is a single make series raced in India similar to Formula Asia series." - WikipediaSource: http://www.hindu.com/2006/12/18/stor...1807131800.htmGaurav, Akhil and Ashwin sizzle
Dec 18, 2006
CHENNAI: Gaurav Gill, Akhil Khushlani and Ashwin Sunder came up with good performances to steal the show in fifth leg of the JK Tyre National Racing Championship 2006.
Gill in the Formula Rolon Chevrolet category, Rayomand Banajee in the Formula LGB Hyundai category and Saran Vikram in the Formula LGB Swift class sealed the championship on Sunday in the penultimate round.
Formula Rolon Chevrolet: Chevy Chase
The cars were introduced into JK Tyre’s National Road Racing Championship earlier this year. They’re powered by GM’s Chevrolet Optra engines, shod with the finest JK tyres and built in a small workshop near a town called Chettipalayam by none other than B Vijaykumar, managing director of LG Balakrishna and Brothers, the owners of LG Sports. They are the same guys, as you might recollect, who rolled out the Formula LGB cars a couple of years back to spice up the racing scene in India.
Down the years, many Indian drivers jumped out of these cars to race abroad in bigger, more complicated machines, but they were left as clueless as IAF pilots who moved from their Suryakirans to fly those infamous MIGs. The main aim was to take racing in India to the next level and allow drivers to be more involved in the setup of their car. The Formula Rolon Chevy cars are based very closely on the Formula Asia and Formula BMW championship cars, which means they have, for the first time in the country, active aerodynamics, inboard mounted suspension, dog boxes, in-car telemetry and it’s all MADE IN INDIA.
I’ve been promised by the guys at General Motors that I’ll be able to get into a car at the end of the race. So, like a kid about to get a double scoop of chocolate chip, I saunter around pit lane waiting for the race to finish, psyching myself that I’m not about to drop that cone down... er, I mean crash the best racing car India has ever produced. Race over, and the GM guys introduce me to B Vijaykumar, a soft- spoken gentleman who’s the brains behind these cars. He asks me to put on my racing suit and my helmet and to get in to his Formula Hyundai, but very politely says that the Chevy racers cannot be driven as they still have a few rounds to go in the championship. My bubble went pop as I now had to search for a racing suit and a car, while the sun seemed to set faster than I’ve ever seen.I donned a bright blue Sparco (thanks to Akbar Ebrahim) and waited by the pit wall for my turn to get into the championship- leading car that is owned by Wallace Racing and driven by Gaurav Gill . In the pits, the butterflies in my stomach went into turbo-mode. Before I can even blink, I have people yelling a number of instructions to me, three distinct clicks (the harness in place) and I’m good to go, with not a clue about what to do next.
Okay, so I remember them saying dog box, which means this car’s got an unsynchronized gearbox and gear changes will need me to match the engine revs while shifting. This is a skill that the racing drivers would have mastered, but me? It also means first gear is redundant and you can get off the line in second. Press the starter button and the Chevy’s 1599cc powertrain roars to life. It’s got a precisely tuned exhaust that makes ‘freaking loud’ an understatement. Standing in the pit lane, you could literally, and I’m not lying, hear the car at the far end of Sriperumbudur, which is by no means a small track. Now, this car puts out a hundred odd bhp which is just like the road-going car. This ensures that there is no unfair advantage in the series. On the other hand, it weighs in at about 500 kg and has a re-mapped ECU, which revs to about 7000 rpm, which makes it clock about 225 kph. About time you let the passengers out, don’t you think?