North American racing fans now have the opportunity to take a ride in a Formula 1 car with sports car champion Didier Theys thanks to the newly created Formula GP Experience.
The cars are actual F1 cars that have been modified, not replicas. Specifically, they are modified Jordan F1 race cars with Judd V10 engines. They can accelerate from 0 to 60 in 1.8 seconds and reach speeds of over 200 miles per hour on some courses.
In an interesting twist they have been modified to include three seats, not one or two, which gives the participant the opportunity to share the ride with a friend or loved one. The passengers' seats are on each side of the driver's seat. Two chassis are available: a 2003 Jordan with which Giancarlo Fisichella won the Brazilian Grand Prix, and a 2004 model that Nick Heidfeld drove during the that F1 season.
Theys, a two-time Rolex 24 overall winner, Sebring 12-Hour winner, Le Mans polesitter, Grand-Am champion and three-time Indy 500 starter, is the company's driving director. Eric Bachelart's Conquest Racing, which has competed in both the IZOD IndyCar Series and the American Le Mans Series, is maintaining the cars in Indianapolis and providing trackside support. Pirelli is one of the effort's sponsors.
The rides are preceded by a karting session so riders can get acclimated to cornering, acceleration and braking forces. Participation by both individuals and corporate groups is encouraged.
Formula GP Experience is also affiliated with another company called DXL, which offers the public and companies the opportunity to test-drive some of the world's most exotic sports cars. Cars in DXL's garages include the Ferrari 458 Italia, Lamborghini LP560, Mercedes SLS AMG, Audi R8 V10, Rolls Royce Ghost and McLaren MP4-12C. Theys is the driver director of that program, too.
Theys and Mario Andretti drove one of the F1 cars at the grand opening of the Circuit of the Americas track in Austin, Texas on Sunday, Oct. 21. Fans who plan to attend the U.S. Grand Prix there on Nov. 18 could add a ride with Theys in one of the F1 cars to their schedule, as Raceland Adventure is coordinating rides at nearby Driveway Austin Nov. 10-19. For more information on those opportunities, see RacelandAdventure.com or call (855) 955-3623.
For more information about Theys' new venture, visit www.formulagpexperience.com.