Nearly 12 years after he crashed out following a freak accident, a more determined and experienced Narain Karthikeyan is back to complete an “unfinished business” in the Le Mans Series endurance racing.
India’s first Formula One driver, Narain, dislocated his shoulder in May 2009, forcing him out of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which is considered one of the world’s toughest races.
The 44-year-old is now back, forming an all Indian team comprising former F2 and European Le Mans Series racer Arjun Maini and 2020 IMSA Prototype Challenge champion Naveen Rao.
“Yeah, absolutely, I’m here to complete an unfinished business. Le Mans is one of the greatest races in the world and I want to go back and get the job done and not only drive there but be competitive,” Narain said during a virtual media conference on Thursday.
The trio will represent Racing Team India which will make its debut in the Asian Le Mans Series in Dubai this weekend in a bid to secure an invitation to the coveted 24 Hours of Le Mans, to be held in France on June 12-13.
Racing Team India’s Dubai debut will make it the first outfit with an all-Indian driver line-up to compete in international endurance racing.
“It’s such a great thing to hold an Indian licence. All three Indian drivers competing for top honours in LMP2 would be awesome.”
The trio will compete in the top class LMP2 category over two, four-hour-long races at the Dubai Autodrome.
The two runnings of the 4 Hours of Dubai will take place on Saturday and Sunday respectively before moving to Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit for another round of two, four-hour races on February 19 and 20.
If the team secures an invitation to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it will become the first squad flying the Indian tricolour to take part in the iconic twice-around-the-clock endurance classic at the Circuit de la Sarthe in France.