$ 5 million in the kitty, Karthikeyan to race for Jordan in F1

MUMBAI: He has made it! India's motor sport icon Narain Karthikeyan is all set to become the first Indian to drive on the F1 circuit. Tata Motors, along with JK Tyres and Bharat Petroleum, have put together the $ 5 million required to secure an offer from the Jordan team.



"Narain has been offered a full drive by Jordan as their number one driver. He has accepted it," Karthikeyan's manager Sanjay Sharma was quoted in a Reuters report as saying.

Karthikeyan is scheduled to address a press conference in Mumbai later today confirming the news. The 2005 F1 season starts in March.



It is pertinent to note that Karthikeyan had got an offer to race with Minardi in 2003, but missed out as he was unable to raise the monies required to secure the offer. Currently, $ 5 million is the minimum required to secure a place in F1 with any of the top teams.

An immediate spin-off from Karthikeyan's driving for Jordan is that it will give huge positive traction on the advertising front for ESPN Star Sports, which has exclusive telecast rights for Formula 1 in India.

Karthikeyan has been sponsored by Tata Motors (then called Tata Engineering) since 2002 as India's entry into the Formula 3 World Series motor car racing.



Interestingly, JK Tyres, the other sponsor, was earlier backing Karun Chandhok, who, along with Karthikeyan and Hari Singh, are the three Indians to have made a mark in the international motor sport arena.

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