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Updated: June 17, 2013 16:09 IST

The racer pauses

PRINCE FREDERICK
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Narain Karthikeyan with eager listeners
Narain Karthikeyan with eager listeners

Indian racing sensation Narain Karthikeyan gives tips to go-karters

Narain Karthikeyan hunkers down beside a go-kart and explains its dynamics to two eager listeners at Kart Attack on East Coast Road. They are not little children taking their first unsteady step in the world of racing, but enthusiasts who enjoy whooshing around karting tracks during weekends. Given the profile of his audience, Narain allows himself the liberty to crack jokes. “In contrast to competitive go-karts, these leisure go-karts have protection bumpers. So, people think these are bumper cars, and keep bumping against each other!” smiles the F1 man.

Narain is at this facility to give fillip to ‘Red Bull Kart Fight' — which allows karting enthusiasts in Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad to post their best timings in a bid to race in the national finals on December 18 in Bangalore. Out of 32 winners from each city, the top 11 will go to the finals. He is expected to dole out tips to the participants.

Switching to a serious note, Narain lists the dos and don'ts of racing. “Before he buckles into a go-kart, a participant should walk around the track — especially if it is new — to understand its contours.” He goes on to explain how surfaces define racing experiences. With gesticulations, he talks about steering input and rear slide. But before Narain could get more technical, the participants turn the encounter into a ‘meet-your-idol' session.

Work hard!

One asks: “What took you to where you are?” Narain replies: “The will to go all the way.” “You showed the other Indians the way,” says another. Narain responds: “To do what nobody else has done before, one has to work harder.”

The next question is about the F1 circuits he enjoys driving on. “Not in any order — Buddh, Silverstone and Suzaka.” Safety is the next topic. “F1 is extremely safe; the last fatality happened in 1994,” says Narain, and adds that NASCAR is just as safe.

He finally settles the issue: “Motorsports is dangerous, and the element of danger adds to the excitement.”

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