Gulf News

Alesi buoyant about new series

SPEEDCAR CHAMPIONSH­IP TO BE LAUNCHED AT DUBAI AUTODROME LATER THIS YEAR

- BY ALARIC GOMES Staff Reporter

Former Formula One driver Jean Alesi has predicted a huge success for the new Speedcar Series to be launched in Dubai shortly.

“This is what this region needs. We need to have our own championsh­ip and I think this series will be a big hit,” Alesi told Gulf News during the test session held for the Speedcar Series at the Dubai Autodrome yesterday.

Alesi was joined by longtime friend Johnny Herbert and Karl Wendlinger during the third session of testing yesterday. India’s Narain Karthikeya­n and Stefan Johansson did not attend the testing.

Alesi returned to racing due to this new series launched specifical­ly with the Middle East and Asia in mind.

He was the first high-profile driver to be announced for the series, scheduled to begin in November this year.

New project

“This is the first time that I am following a new project. I am really excited about these cars, these are dream cars and I know that this championsh­ip will be a big hit in the region in the future,” Alesi said.

One of the highlights of the series, according to the French driver, is the absolute safety of the vehicles. The series will use NASCAR-style machinery, although the 24 cars are being built specifical­ly for the championsh­ips.

“I have driven different cars, including F1, DTM, sportscars, touring cars, rally cars and ice racers. But stock cars are the only type of racers that I am thrilled to be driving,” he said.

“Driving these cars is the absolute opposite of the thrill one can get sitting behind a Formula One car wheel.”

Formula One too is quite excited with the upcoming series, according to the former F1 winner. “It’s new, it’s exciting, the car has no weight restrictio­ns, it’s got fantastic safety and it’s not going to be a competitio­n to any of the existing series,” Alesi said.

 ?? PAUL VELASCO/Gulf News ?? Former Grand Prix winners Jean Alesi (left) and Johnny Herbert during the first public Speedcar test session at the Dubai Autodrome yesterday. The cars and drivers will complete two full days of testing at the venue in preparatio­n for the season which...
PAUL VELASCO/Gulf News Former Grand Prix winners Jean Alesi (left) and Johnny Herbert during the first public Speedcar test session at the Dubai Autodrome yesterday. The cars and drivers will complete two full days of testing at the venue in preparatio­n for the season which...

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