Premier 1 Grand Prix
Premier 1 Grand Prix was intended to be a new motor racing series which had intended to have each car branded with the colours of a particular football team. It was intended that up to thirty football clubs were interested in being included as teams in Premier 1 Grand Prix and it had included Tottenham Hotspur, R.S.C. Anderlecht, Leeds United, Benfica, Olympique Lyonnais, Chelsea F.C., Valencia and Feyenoord to have included cars in a race series which held races on fifteen racing circuits in Europe, Latin America and Asia.
The foundation of the series commenced in 2001 in a "Marketing and Promotional Concept" idea brought forward by SMC Capital Investments who funded the series. It was intended to attract Football fans to motor racing. In October 2001, the FIA World Motorsports Council granted the series provisional backing.
The series was originally planned to host twelve races in 2002; eleven in Europe and one in South America. The date of the races were chosen as not to clash with any Formula One World Championship races. Football clubs would be selected after taking an analysis of their performance in the past six years in their domestic leagues.
Proposed calendar for 2002
|1||Autódromo do Estoril||Estoril, Portugal||14 July 2002|
|2||EuroSpeedway Lausitz||Brandenburg, Germany||4 August 2002|
|3||Dijon-Prenois||Dijon, France||11 August 2002|
|4||Donington Park||Castle Donington, England||25 August 2002|
|5||Circuit Park Zandvoort||Zandvoort, Netherlands||8 September 2002|
|6||Brno Circuit||Brno, Czech Republic||29 September 2002|
|7||Misano Circuit||Misano, Italy||6 October 2002|
|8||Circuit Ricardo Tormo||Valencia, Spain||20 October 2002|
|9||Autódromo Juan y Oscar Gálvez||Buenos Aires, Argentina||3 November 2002|
|10||Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||10 November 2002|
A qualifying session was to be held on the Saturday before the race to determine the starting order. Two races lasting 100-miles or one-hour, with a 30 minute break in between, were due to be held on Sunday.
The cars in the series were intended to have the same power in effort to encourage higher competition and would be supplied by Reynard Motorsport after an earlier agreement with Dallara fell through. The project was headed by James Bolton and worked under the supervision of technical director Nick Wirth and designer John Thompson. They were to have six-speed pneumatic semi-automatic paddle-operated sequential gearbox and a four-litre V10 engine built by Judd giving in excess of 750 brake horsepower (560 kW) and would run at 11,500 rpm. The total weight of the car and driver was to have been approximately 650 kg.
All cars would be run on slick tyres and aimed to have top speeds similar to Formula One cars. Rumours circulated that Avon would be the series' sole tyre supplier but the prototype of the car was fitted with Goodyear tyres. Driver aids such as Launch control, traction control and ABS would not be included but cars would feature a electronic gear shift. Every driver would be competing in identical chassis which intended for the emphasis of the racing series to be focused on driving skill and team work and not on which team could spend the most capital developing the best car package. S.S. Collins, author of Unraced...: Formula One's Lost Cars, noted the prototype car bore resembence to the Benetton B195.
In 2005, the concept of Premier 1 Grand Prix became the Superleague Formula, which started its first race in 2008, however it was folded in 2011.
- Collins, S.S. (March 2007). Unraced...: Formula One's Lost Cars. Veloce Publishing. pp. 96–112.
- "Premier 1 Grand Prix gets the nod". GrandPrix.com. 11 October 2001. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
- Harris, Nick (9 August 2000). "Football's top clubs take fast track to future". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved 3 January 2016.