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Karthikeyan plans own academy

Speaking to HT, Narain said: "I don't want Indian youngsters to go through what I experienced, hunting for sponsors and trying to find my way up."

india Updated: Feb 27, 2006 15:26 IST
AR Hemant
AR Hemant

Narain Karthikeyan is planning to start an academy to groom future racing stars. Speaking to HT, Karthikeyan said he intends to give shape to this project 'sometime very soon'.

"I don't want Indian youngsters to go through what I experienced, hunting for sponsorships and trying to find my way up."

Karthikeyan, who now is with Team Williams as a test driver, spends most of his time in England.

Elaborating on his project, he said, "Ten years ago, most people would have laughed at the thought of an Indian making it to Formula One. But I've changed that and I believe I've paved the way for Indian youngsters. We're a country of a billion people and I'm sure a lot more racing talent can be found here." He also elaborated on his plans to get youngsters ready for the world stage, "By an academy, I didn't mean establishing a racing school. I intend to choose talented youngsters, groom them and help them participate in competitive events."

Having moved from Midlands (formerly Jordan) to Williams, Karthikeyan said he was enjoying the stint with his new team. "Williams are more professional, more organised and financially better off. It's good to be working with a top team."

Terming the switch as 'a good move' for his long term career prospect, the Indian said, "Earlier I was with a team at the back of the grid. But now I have the experience with a top team and I'm happy about it."

On his role at Williams, he said, "It's a development-related job. You test the cars to make them reliable. You drive them to find ways to improve performance, try to reduce problems of aerodynamics, understand which tyres work best, etc. You get cars ready for races after these tests."

Talking of the drag race event, he said "Events like these are becoming increasingly popular in the country. A lot of people are taking interest in it. It boosts the image of motorsport in the country."

First Published: Feb 27, 2006 14:38 IST