Le Mans: Team India forms all-Indian drivers line-up

Eying 24 Hours of Le Mans, Racing Team India forms star-studded all-Indian drivers line-up

The Asian Le Mans Series will be held at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi on February 5-6 and February 19-20

Narain Karthikeyan. Credit: Twitter/@narainracing

Racing Team India is set to create history by becoming the first team to feature an all-Indian drivers line-up globally, in the world of endurance racing at the 2021 Asian Le Mans Series to be held in Abu Dhabi in February next year.

A star-studded line-up of drivers, including Narain Karthikeyan, Arjun Maini and Naveen Rao, will spearhead Racing Team India's campaign in the 2021 Asian Le Mans Series with an eye on competing in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans later in the year.

The Asian Le Mans Series, to be held at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi on February 5-6 and February 19-20, comprises of four races spread over the two race weekends, with each race lasting four hours, a media release stated.

The Indian team will drive an ORECA 07 car in the LMP2 class, and have technical support from the Championship-winning Algarve Pro Racing Team.

"I have been dreaming of going back to Le Mans for a few years now. This is probably the most exciting project in my career as a racing driver," India's first Formula One driver Karthikeyan said.

"We have a young and fledgling team and it will no doubt be a big test for us, but I am confident of doing well," he added.

Gautam Singhania, who is a member of the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) World Motor Sport Council and is also an accomplished racing driver himself, will lead Racing Team India.

"It's a privilege to lead the first ever all-Indian lineup of drivers in global endurance racing. We have a very good team and I hope we can create a long-term legacy for Indian motorsport by excelling in the series," Singhania said.

Bangalore-based Maini's experience in endurance racing will come in handy for the team, having driven for Algarve Pro Racing Team in the 2020 European Le Mans Series (ELMS).

"I am glad to be back to racing so soon after the 2020 European Le Mans season, and I do believe that Algarve Pro Racing Team, the defending Asian Le Mans Series champions, gives us the best possible chance of securing an entry to the 24 Hours of Le Mans," Maini said.

Rao, who is the reigning 2020 IMSA Prototype Challenge champion, said he is looking forward to driving as part of Racing Team India team.

"I'm super excited to be partnering with Narain and Arjun to bring the first-ever Racing Team India to Le Mans! Le Mans has a magical quality and is the dream of many kids to be a part of.”

Cyrille Taesch Wahlen, CEO of the Asian Le Mans Series, welcomed Racing Team India into its fold.

"Having an Indian flagged LMP2 team is not only a first for the Asian Le Mans Series, but it is also a first for ACO racing around the world. We have a growing supporter base in India, and now they have a team to support! I wish the team all the best and look forward to seeing them in Abu Dhabi," Wahlen said.

JK Typres will serve as Racing Team India's inaugural partners.

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