Karun Chandhok joins Durango Racing

KARUN GEARS UP TO SET TRACK ABLAZE IN GP2 JK Tyre prodigy & Asian Renault V6 Champion inches closer to the Formula 1 racing New Delhi, April 9, 2007: In a significant step forward, India's racing champ and JK Tyre prodigy Karun Chandhok has...


JK Tyre prodigy & Asian Renault V6 Champion inches closer to the Formula 1 racing

New Delhi, April 9, 2007: In a significant step forward, India's racing champ and JK Tyre prodigy Karun Chandhok has made foray into 2007 GP2 series, which runs as support race along with Formula 1 on the same day and is slated to bring him closer to his ambition of racing in Formula 1. Karun will be driving for Italy based Durango Racing team for the championship which kicks off in 10 days time in Bahrain. Apart from his long time principle sponsors JK Tyre, Karun is being backed by Amaron Batteries and new sponsors ICSA Logistics and global energy giant Red Bull.

The GP2 series, which is owned and run together by Bernie Ecclestone of Formula 1 management and Flavio Briatore and Bruno Michel from Renault is recognized as the best feeder series to Formula 1 with cars competing will be the closest category to Formula 1, with lap times within 5 seconds of the F1 cars! The mean machines are powered by a 4000cc Renault engine fitted to an F1 style semi-automatic gearbox with paddle shifts, carbon brakes and slick tyres made from the same mould as the 2007 F1 tyres. The cars are capable of top speeds of 320 kmh and cornering forces of up to 4g. The competitive level of the series can be gauged with the fact that the series boasts of a list of very high profile drivers with 13 out of the 26 drivers benefiting from Formula 1 experience either in testing or races.

Looking ahead to the season, Karun said "My career has been on the right- path right from winning the national championship title followed by the Formula Asia Championship, then on to Formula 3 and winning the Renault V6 series last year. With the support of my sponsors and some very strong advisors and backers, we are now just one final step away from Formula 1". With the likes of Lewis Hamilton (McLaren), Heikki Kovaleinnen and Nelson Piquet Jr. (Renault), Nico Rosberg (Williams), Scott Speed and Neel Jani (Torro Rosso) all making that leap into F1 from GP2 in just the two seasons that the series has been running, it really proves that GP2 is the place to be for drivers looking to get to Formula 1. Karun further added, "GP2 is a huge step up forward and 2007 will be the first in what should be a two year programme. The format of the weekend heavily favours the drivers with past experience and most definitely, while driving on the circuits for the first time, I will have a great exposure and learnings on the circuits".

Expressing his delight at Karun's achievements, Mr. Sanjay Sharma, Head Motorsports, JK Tyre and Industries said, "Knowing Karun since his early days, he is technically very correct and an intelligent driver. Adapting on the GP2 circuit may take a little time for him, but as demonstrated in the past, I am sure that he will make most of this enormous opportunity and showcase his capabilities yet again on international arena". On promoting talents on international arena, he further added "JK Tyre stands committed to promote more and more talents into the international arena, and our next big goal will be to bring these international events to India, very soon".

The GP2 series is incredible competitive, having the strongest pool of talent outside of Formula 1. The pre-season testing has been extremely close with the top 20 cars covered by just one second! Karun reiterated this fact by saying that "The drivers competing all come with a massive pedigree behind them with a lot of them bringing Formula 1 experience which will undoubtedly be beneficial. My aim for the season is certainly to score the odd points in the first half of the season and then aim to be a regular point scorer by the end."

Karun will be supported this season by new backer; the global energy drinks giant Red Bull who is one of the most active supporters of top sportsman around the globe. The 23 year olds' long-term backers JK Tyre will once again support his efforts this season, carrying on their long-standing commitment to support Karun in his quest towards Formula 1.

Speaking about his sponsors, the Chennai born driver said "I'm really delighted to have Red Bull supporting my programme this year. They are such a strong player in the world of Motorsport at the moment and a brand that has really taken off in India as well. JK Tyre has been the backbone of my career till date and will continue their incredible support along with Amaron Batteries and ICSA Logistics. I would also like to thank IndiaAutomobile.com and M-Auto both of whom I will be working with as a brand ambassador for the first time this year."

-credit: www.karunchandhok.com

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Series FIA F2
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Nelson Piquet Jr. , Scott Speed , Flavio Briatore , Nico Rosberg , Karun Chandhok , Neel Jani , Bruno Michel , Bernie Ecclestone
Teams Williams