The cars are built with a much stronger material produced for aerospace applications

The LGB Formula 4 cars, built in Coimbatore, made a grand debut in the 15th JK Tyre-FMSCI National Racing Championship at the Kari Motor Speedway in Chettipalayam here on Saturday. The man who squeezed the best out of the new car turned out to be Delhi’s Sarosh Hataria. The 32-year-old, representing Team WSRF with Tiger Sport, was obviously thrilled. “It was a real good experience. I felt nice driving it.”

Speaking about the cars, B. Vijayakumar, the man behind the machine, said the older Formula LGB Swift cars built in 2003 had to retire because the technology became old. “The competition is also growing. Where do the drivers go? Racing abroad will cost them a huge packet. These cars will certainly help.”

S. Sivakumar, Director of LG Sports, said it is certainly going to help the team and the drivers. “A go-kart costs about Rs. 4 lakh but these cars come at a subsidised cost. It is beneficial for the team as the capital investment is reduced to a large extent. So, it is going to help the drivers as well. The machine will also be equal for everybody.”

Mr. Vijayakumar said he has provided the car in a kit form to all the teams. “They will be forced to assemble and learn its set up.” He said the Formula 4 cars are built with a much stronger material (chrome molybdenum tubing) originally designed and produced for aerospace applications. It is this material that has been used to construct the frame. We imported it from Korea and it took us a record seven months to complete them.”

Mr. Vijayakumar admitted there was a slight delay. “We wanted it to be ready for the season’s opener but there were delays due to power cuts. We also found it difficult to get the workers, especially for welding.”

He said the advantage with the new car is it is easily adjustable. “Any adjustment on the car can be easily felt by the driver. It is also easy to work on for the mechanics. We have also developed new seats. It offers a more comfortable seating position with greater level of safety. It has the potential to lift the driver out with the seat,” he added.

The cars, powered by 1298cc Swift engines, have been made with a provision to be fitted with wings later.

How about the grey areas? “There have been minor glitches but we have addressed them well this time round,” he said.

Mr. Vijayakumar said the initial plan was to build 30 cars. “But we have managed over 20 cars. We rejected about six frames as it was not uniform in its specifications. But we are happy about our progress.” “We had tested the car for the last one month. It has done over 200 laps. Functionally they are very good. The rest will be taken care of. It will be in full flow from the next race in Chennai,” he promised.

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