Karthikeyan to lead Asian Le Mans series team

Finley Crebolder

Former Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan is to drive for the newly formed Racing Team India in the 2021 Asian Le Mans series.

Karthikeyan drove for Jordan in 2005 before returning to F1 with HRT in 2011, staying until the end of the 2012 campaign.

Since then, he has spent most years competing in Super Formula, but in 2021, he will take part in a Le Mans series for just the second time – with the first coming back in 2009 – driving for Racing Team India.

“Racing Team India is probably the most exciting project I’ve ever undertaken in my career as a racing driver,” he said.

“Going back to Le Mans is something I’ve been dreaming about for quite a few years now.”

He will be driving alongside compatriots Arjun Maini and Naveen Rao, the former of whom competed in Formula 2 in 2018 and 2019, with P5 his best result.

Le Mans 1966

The team’s main goal will be to qualify for the iconic Le Mans 24 Hours race taking place in June by winning the Asian series, which will be four-hour races at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.

“The Asian Le Mans Series is going to be a massive test for our young and fledgeling team, and I hope the amazing Indian sports fans support us big time in our new adventure,” Karthikeyan concluded.

The Indian driver’s first experience of Le Mans 24 hours wasn’t a successful one as he fell off the pit-wall and dislocated his shoulder prior to the race and was thus declared unfit to compete.

“I would definitely like to return to Le Mans in 2010 and for many years after that,” he said after the incident.

“The atmosphere here is so amazing, it’s like the biggest race and party of the year, all rolled up into one. It’s hard to imagine what a crowd of 250,000 fans would be like until you see it with your own eyes.

“For any true racing fan, it has to be the event of the year, and one that must be attended at least once in a lifetime.”

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