WILMINGTON, Del. — North American racing fans now have the opportunity to take a ride in a Formula One car with sports car champion Didier Theys thanks to a new company called the Formula GP Experience.
The cars are actual F-1 cars that have been modified, not replicas.
Specifically they are modified Jordan F-1 race cars with Judd V10 engines. They can accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 1.8 seconds and reach speeds of over 200 mph 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. Photo of the cars can be seen on the company’s Web site at FormulaGPExperience.com.
Two chassis are available: a Jordan with which Giancarlo Fisichella won the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix, and a Jordan that Nick Heidfeld drove during the 2004 F-1 season. These are the actual cars with the actual F-1 engines, not road engines.
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 competes in both the IZOD IndyCar Series and the American Le Mans Series, is maintaining the cars in Indianapolis and providing trackside support.
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, as the Formula GP Experience is excellent for team building and networking.
Pirelli is one of the effort’s sponsors.
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 F-1 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 F-1 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.