Tour de Force (TDF), a racing specialist shop in the United Kingdom, has announced plans to sell five Formula 1 cars that have been modified for track day duty. Based on three Marussia and two Sauber chassis from the 2011 and 2012 F1 seasons, they’ve been simplified and modernized so anyone with enough bravery could theoretically get behind the wheel and drive.
In place of the original 2.4-liter naturally aspirated V-8 sits a newly developed 1.73-liter turbocharged inline-four making 600 horsepower at 9000 rpm. It’s mated to a six-speed sequential, and used as a stressed member of the chassis. TDF estimates the unit offers 90 percent of the capability of the original engine, but with a more reasonable 1860-mile service interval.
TDF has also simplified the steering wheel controls, and adjusted the Drag Reduction System (DRS) to automatically close when the car senses any steering or braking input. TDF suggests that with the optional starter and radiator fans, drivers could run one of these cars by themselves without any assistance—pretty wild considering it took an entire team to get them on track when they were new.
Each car has a dry weight of 1322 pounds, capable of cornering at up to 4.5 gs. TDF estimates each car will provide 95 percent of the on-track performance as the car did new. Those are some pretty intimidating numbers if your name isn’t Fernando Alonso, so TDF is providing a comprehensive driver course for anyone who purchases one of its cars. It includes one-on-one coaching with development driver and W Series driver Jessica Hawkins, and seat time in the company’s F1-grade simulator.
TDF says each car will cost £1.5 million before taxes (around $1.96 million). That’s absurdly expensive for a track toy, we know. But considering these are real, actual F1 cars that have been modified for use by normal people, we’d say it’s not too unreasonable.
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