The world wide economic recession has affected international motorsport adevrsely but till now there had been little damage to the Indian challenge. That has now changed.
Spice Energy will no longer continue in its role as seat holder of A1 Team India. “Spice Energy is temporarily out of handling operations for A1 Team India given the current economic situation. We will look forward to continue our support to the team,” said Neha Rastogi, Spice Energy spokesperson.
“There is a reshuffle in the management but the team will be on the grid with me as lead driver and Armaan (Ebrahim) and Parthiv (Sureshwaran) as backup,” said Narain Karthikeyan.
Even as A1 GP looks to find another seat holder for the team, which has now changed hands four times in as many seasons, speculation suggests it is likely to be Karthikeyan himself.
India’s spot on the A1 grid, however, is in no danger as its promoters see the country as one of the primary markets.
The fallout from this impasse is likely to postpone A1 GP’s plans to bring a race to this country in 09-10. The actualisation time for a race is given to be 18 months and Spice Energy had done substantial work on that front. All of that appears redundant for now. A1 team India is a company registered with A1 GP. Whoever holds the franchise is expected to buy a substantial percentage of the shares of the company. Spice Energy was to buy about 50% of shares but it has been unable to do that. Spice Energy also owes Karthikeyan a significant amount.