India might not have a laudable history of motorsports and history cannot be changed. It can certainly be made. This is exactly what Narain Karthikeyan, India’s first Formula One driver, has done with his A1GP victory at Zuhai in China. He has once again done India proud at an event considered the world cup of motorsport.
The A1 Grand Prix commenced on 30th March, 2004 as a new concept in international motor racing. It comprises of two different races: Feature race and Sprint Race. The race takes excitement to newer heights with lots of chances at overtaking. The Zuhai track featured two straight tracks of 900m and 500m. About 22 countries took part in this race where not only were drivers pitted against other drivers but countries clashed as well. The race ensures a level-playing field for all participants without much consideration for technology or finances.
The Indian team had reached China riding on the success at Sepang in Malaysia where they had ranked 6th on the grid. With the fresh A1GP feature race victory, Karthikeyan has become the first Indian to have won this race. Germany’s Michael Ammermuller bagged first place in the other category of Sprint Racing where the Indian team had performed reasonably well with a 9th place in the qualifiers.
This victory, as Karthikeyan claims, is purely a result of well-coordinated team work and superior strategy. The pit stops were well called in and the timing was perfect! This is an inspiring team performance by the Indian A1GP team after a 3rd and 9th place finish in the qualifying rounds for the Feature and Sprint races respectively.
With the new victory, India’s A1 racer looks forward to a better career at Formula One. He took to racing at an early age and made his debut for the Carlin Motorsport team at the British Formula Three Championship in 1998. He might not have been seen as a Sachin or a Sania, yet this lanky lad has inspired a generation of motorists in the sport. With the advent of Go-Karting, motorsport has become a rage. Kingfisher’s buyout of Spyker and serious efforts to create India’s first F1 track are testimony to the apparent. Karthikeyan continues to instill a new sense of speed into the whole lot of race enthusiasts in India.