Happy birthday Narain Karthikeyan: Born on 14 January 1977, Kumar Ram Narain Karthikeyan is an Indian racing driver. He was the first Indian driver to compete in Formula One.
People often take the age barriers into considerations, depending completely upon what kind of sports it is.
Well for racing, there is no age barrier as such.
It has given a credible name to the Indian racing diaspora across the world by continuing a passion that he has had since he was very young.
So, as far as we talk about this racing legend, who is a prime example of an individual who has defied all odds, one need not take the term ‘barrier’ into considerations.
He has created history. After finishing his formula 1 career, he also switched over to motorcar racing and was heavily involved in the sports car circuit in Japan.
A truly remarkable feat for a remarkable racer, he later decide to pursue new challenges in 2020, taking a step back by resigning from Nakajima racing.
However, for his fans who believe he had gone missing from the racing circuit, ‘the fastest Indian on Earth’ is very much alive and kicking in the racing circuit and continues to enthrall different race-crazy nations across the world with his skills.
Happy birthday Narain Karthikeyan: A look on some of the lesser-known facts about him-
- Narain was born in Coimbatore, a city in Tamil Nadu famous for breeding racers. Karthikeyan’s father was a celebrated racer who had won the South India Rally seven times.
- His affiliation with the world of racing became stronger as Karthikeyan was closely related to Sundaram Karivardhan Naidu, who was a pioneer in Indian motor racing and a mentor of Indian racers such as Karun Chandhok, Armaan Ebrahim and Karthikeyan himself.
- Karthikeyan’s first ever race was at Sriperumpudur in a Formula Maruti car, designed by Naidu. Karthikeyan won the race.
- He realized that India did not have the right infrastructure to support professional racing or even institutes to support aspirin racers. Karthikeyan went to Elf Winfield Racing School in France.
- He was selected by the French school after he proved his mettle by reaching the semi-final at the Pilote Elf Competition for Formula Renault cars in 1992.
- In 2005, Karthikeyan signed a deal with the Jordan Formula One. This put him under the spotlight in the world and made him the first Indian Formula One driver.
- During his first stint as a Formula One racer, Karthikeyan’s partner was Portuguese driver Tiago Monteiro.
- In his first race at the Australian Grand Prix, Karthikeyan qualified with the 12th position at the starting grid. He finished the race at the 15th position, only two laps behind the Italian driver Giancarlo Fisichella.
- In 2007, Karthikeyan joined the Spyker F1 Team. The Spyker team was bought by Indian business tycoon Vijay Mallya and renamed as Force India Formula One team in 2008. Karthikeyan became the poster-boy of Force India.
- Not many people know this but Karthikeyan was selected by the American racing team Red Bull Cheever Racing in 2005. However, the deal was not finalized.