Cricket

India's first Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan backs X1 Racing League, feels it will revolutionise country's motorsport

  • Press Trust of India
  • November 18th, 2019
  • 17:27:38 IST
  • Motorsport in India has been stagnant over the past decade and country's first Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan hopes that the upcoming X1 Racing League will provide a much-needed boost to the struggling sport

  • Former F1 drivers Vitantonio Liuzzi and Alex Yoong, some women drivers including Alice Powell, Indian rally ace Gaurav Gill apart from Karthikeyan will be participating in the league which is slated to start from 30 November at the Buddh International Circuit, New Delhi

  • The second leg will be held at the MMRT race track near Chennai on 7 and 8 December

Chennai: Motorsport in India has been stagnant over the past decade and country's first Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan hopes that the upcoming X1 Racing League will provide a much-needed boost to the struggling sport.

File image of former India Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan.

File image of former India Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan.

"Motorsport in India has been stagnant over the last 10-15 years. There are some one-make series which are around... This (X1) could be one of the first steps and you know there are young drivers in the league and they can learn from experienced drivers before they start going international," the 42-year-old told PTI in an interaction.

"This X1 League will revolutionise motorsport the way we see it in India. And it has a mix of local and international drivers and young drivers will be exposed at a very early stage on what to expect before going abroad," said, Karthikeyan who owns the Chennai team, added.

He said if the package was right, the league could do what Formula 1 has not done to India.

"See, if the package is put together right, we all believe it is and what F1 has not done to India, this should be doing it. It should help grassroot levels of motorsports grow."

"Taking the sport to the masses is another objective. So, with these two in mind, the package has been created and we hope to deliver," he added.

Former F1 drivers Vitantonio Liuzzi and Alex Yoong, some women drivers including Alice Powell, Indian rally ace Gaurav Gill apart from Karthikeyan will be participating in the league which is slated to start from 30 November at the Buddh International Circuit, New Delhi.

The second leg will be held at the MMRT race track near Chennai on 7 and 8 December.

The Coimbatore-based Karthikeyan, who is presently taking part in the Super GT Series in Japan, also said this (X1 League) is a format where the youngsters don't have to worry about getting sponsors. "For them (youngsters), there is no pressure other than that of performing," he said.

Asked if the country's top rally driver Gaurav Gill getting the Arjuna award would provide an impetus to motorsport, he said any award was welcome and hoped the sport gets recognised more often.

"Yeah...for sure. Any award for motorsport is always welcome. I got the Padma Shri in 2010 and now Gill has been bestowed with the Arjuna award. I hope motorsport gets recognised and more awards are forthcoming," he added.

About his own career, Karthikeyan said he was enjoying racing as much as he did when he started. "I have been racing for 27 years and I like it as much as when I started it," he signed off.

Updated Date: November 18, 2019 17:27:38 IST

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Antalya Open: Australian Alex de Minaur claims fourth career title after Alexander Bublik retires with ankle injury
Sports

Antalya Open: Australian Alex de Minaur claims fourth career title after Alexander Bublik retires with ankle injury

The fourth-seeded De Minaur led the eighth seed 2-0 in the first set when his Kazakh opponent retired due to a right ankle injury he suffered in his semi-final.

Thailand Open: BWF working with event organisers after Kidambi Srikanth left with bloodied nose
Sports

Thailand Open: BWF working with event organisers after Kidambi Srikanth left with bloodied nose

Former world number one Srikanth on Tuesday got a bloodied nose after undergoing multiple COVID-19 tests and was miffed at the poor treatment of health officials at Thailand Open.

MotoGP 2021 season to begin with two races in Qatar, pre-season testing to commence in first week of March
Sports

MotoGP 2021 season to begin with two races in Qatar, pre-season testing to commence in first week of March

The two night races, both to be held at the Losail circuit on 28 March and 4 April, will be followed up by the Portuguese MotoGP at the Algarve International circuit on 18 April.