V6 AP: 2006 season news 2006-03-13

Hong Kong, March 13, 2006 -- The upcoming Formula V6 Asia by Renault series, which has sparked enormous international interest since its announcement last month, has received an additional boost in the form of Euro 100,000 (approximately...

Hong Kong, March 13, 2006 -- The upcoming Formula V6 Asia by Renault series, which has sparked enormous international interest since its announcement last month, has received an additional boost in the form of Euro 100,000 (approximately US$120,000) cash plus rewards prizes for the top-performing teams and drivers in its inaugural season which kicks off in Malaysia next month.

France-based Renault Sport Technologies has announced the cash prize fund for the teams, and a World Series by Renault test drive for each of the top three drivers at the end of the season.

The move has been warmly welcomed by series organiser and promoter, Malaysian-based Motorsport Asia Limited, the company behind the hugely successful Asian Festival of Speed (AFOS) weekends. Said Chief Executive Officer, David Sonenscher: "The winning team will win Euro 50,000 (approximately US$60,000), a significant contribution to their operating costs. For the top three drivers, the free World Series by Renault test drive provides an invaluable opportunity to showcase their talent to Europe's leading teams and decision-makers.

"The addition of these cash and prize incentives -- on top of an affordable, high-level racing series held in the world's most dynamic and rapidly developing region -- will make Formula V6 Asia by Renault even more attractive for drivers and teams from anywhere in the world."

The second placed team will be awarded a cash prize of Euro 30,000 (approx. US$36,000), while the second-runner up will take home Euro 20,000 (approx. US$24,000).

Since the announcement of Formula V6 Asia by Renault, the region's most senior level single seater series ever, organisers have been flooded with enquiries from both teams and drivers from right across Asia, North and South America, the USA and Europe.

The most recent driver to announce his intention to participate is India's Karun Chandhok. Chandhok began his career in Formula India, winning the 2001 Asian Formula 2000 Championship, before moving to the British Formula 3 Championship and was most recently part of India's A1 Grand Prix team. The 22-year-old was recently quoted as saying: "World Series is a costly affair and I never got to drive a full season. But now with the Formula V6 Asia by Renault coming up I think I can drive a full season. It is just half the cost of the World Series."

Other drivers who have stated their intention to be part of the line up are Christian Jones, the son of former F1 World Champion Alan Jones, Hong Kong's most successful open wheel racer and 2004 Formula BMW Asia champion, Marchy Lee Yin Kin, and exciting Taiwanese youngster Hanss Lin Po Heng.

The introduction of Formula V6 Asia by Renault means that, for the first time, Southeast Asian-based drivers will be able to progress from karting, through the ranks of junior single seaters, and step up to a programme specifically designed to groom them for Formula One. For drivers from outside the region, the series provides a cost-effective alternative to the World Series by Renault, as well as the opportunity to make a name for themselves in the booming economies of Asia.

The car is powered by a 370bhp, 3.5l 24 valve V6 engine, can reach speeds of up to 275kph, is equipped with "ship to shore" radio, electronic-display steering wheels and data acquisition.

Formula V6 Asia by Renault will be televised globally, both live and delayed, and will be supported by a comprehensive promotional and media campaign.

Motorsport Asia, the company behind AFOS racing weekends which include the Asian Touring Car Championship, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, and Formula BMW Asia, is the region's leading motorsport outfit. The new partnership will marry Renault's impressive motor racing pedigree with Motorsport Asia's regional know-how and experience.

-afos-

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Series Formula Renault
Drivers Alan Jones , Karun Chandhok , Christian Jones , Marchy Lee