Thursday, 1 September 2011

Branson may join B'wood star in racing league




British tycoon Richard Branson may partner with a prominent star family of Bollywood to buy a team in i1 Super Series, an Indian motor sporting league backed by Sachin Tendulkar, said sources directly involved with the talks.

Branson and the local partners are likely to invest through a special purpose vehicle, India Entertainment Company, which has signed a letter of intent (LoI) to discuss ownership interest in Bangalore franchise, sources added. The family from Bollywood has business interests in the hospitality industry.

With this, Branson may land up with a motor racing team in Bangalore, which is home to his Formula-1rival and UB Group Chairman Vijay Mallya. The team ownerships worth $5 million are by invitation and not on auction. Siddarth Mallya, the young scion who manages UB Group's sporting businesses, too had shown early interest in the i1 Super Series, sources said. But it is not clear where India's beer to airline conglomerate stands on this proposal right now.

Machdar Motor Sports Private Ltd plans to launch a league with nine teams, which are city based franchises on the lines of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in cricket. Each team will have two cars making it an eighteen-member race grid. The first season with 14 weekend races starts on December 18 and draws to end on February 25, 2012. The eight teams will be racing on tracks in New Delhi, Chennai, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Qatar and Sepang.

The Schedule for the Event is as tabulated below :
Date
Venue
18 December 2011
New Delhi
08 January 2012
Abu Dhabi
15 January 2012
Doha
22 January 2012
Dubai
5 February 2012
Kuala Lumpur
12 February 2012
Pattaya
25 February 2012
Chennai/New Delhi

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