MRF plans to sponsor motor sports events outside India too.
The tyre manufacturer has been associated with motorsport and karting in the country for over 20 years now.
MRF-sponsored teams have raced and won at domestic and Asian championships. In 2010, MRF launched the MRF Challenge racing series in India.
“The MRF Challenge series helps demonstrate our tyre technology, while also building the brand. We plan to take this event outside India next year – to West Asia and South East Asia (Singapore, Malaysia),” said Arun Mammen, Managing Director, on the sidelines of the launch of Formula 2000, the company’s newest racing car.
MRF has tied up with Renault-Sport in France and Italian company Automobili Dallara to build the car. Renault-Sport, the motor sports division of car maker Renault, has built the 210-bhp 2-litre engine. Dallara has provided the chassis. “These two companies are world leaders in their respective fields. The single-seater car is made of carbon fibre, not steel or aluminium, for ultimate safety. It gives a top speed of 260 km an hour,” said Mammen.
The car comes with a six-speed sequential gearbox. It costs around Rs 50 lakh.
Formula 2000 was unveiled here by well-known racer Narain Karthikeyan.
MRF Challenge 2012
MRF has built 20 such cars, which will run at The MRF Challenge 2012 racing series in December-February. The series, sponsored by MRF, consists of four rounds across 10 races.
The first two rounds will be held at the Buddh International Circuit in Delhi and the final two will be at the MMRT Circuit in Chennai.
The car will also be featured at the Formula 1 support race in October.
Previously, MRF’s racing cars came with Ford India’s Duractec 1.6 litre engine with a power of 110-140 bhp.