Headed by former F1-driver Jonathan Palmer, MotorSportVision (MSV) took control of four major circuits (Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Snetterton and Cadwell Park) in January.
T1 will see readily identifiable versions of everyday saloon cars visually spectacularly modified with big flared wheel arches, wings and bumpers.
Using the manufacturer’s standard 2-litre engine with little modification, the cars will also be fitted with identical turbocharger kits developed by MSV to boost standard output to a controlled 275bhp.
In order to guarantee the most important ingredient in motor racing - the feat of overtaking - every car will include a power-boost button to deliver an extra 50bhp during a six second burst.
Further encouragement to stamp out any chance of a processional contest will come from the introduction of reversed grids for the first ‘Qualifying race’. This means the series leader will have to fight their way from the back of a 20 car field. The outcome of the Qualifying race will then determine the grid positions for the second, Championship scoring race.
“For too long much of motorsport has kidded itself that it is providing scintillating entertainment. It is not. If we expect spectators to come in their masses we need to be providing captivating excitement that keeps them enthralled from the start of a race to the chequered flag,” says Jonathan Palmer of MotorSportVision.
He adds: “T1 will press all the right buttons. It has the prefect mix for all the most important people - the spectators, TV audience, teams, drivers and commercial partners.”
To further whet public appetite, the fully road legal T1 cars will embark on a publicised roadshow before each round. Race day mornings will also feature a unique slot for all the teams to offer passenger rides to members of the public and guests.
“All in all, T1 is the most rounded British motorsport series ever. It won’t be crippling for the teams, it has bags of commercial appeal and above all, the paying public will be treated to proper racing week in, week out.”
The ten round T1 Championship will begin in April 2005. A maximum of 4 cars per manufacturer will be permitted on the grids of 20.