Karthikeyan leaves the Japanese ship Super GT C after an impressive debut season
Tokyo, January 6 () India's first Formula 1 driver, Narain Karthikeyan, announced on Monday his departure from the Japanese Super GT Championship despite an impressive debut season in sports car racing.
The 42-year-old had switched to sports car racing last year after spending two decades in cars. He had finished the season at the top by winning the Super Dream Gt x DTM Dream Race at the Fuji Speedway in November. He had also finished second in the penultimate round of the Championship.
Speaking with him, Karthikeyan said he wants to explore new challenges and that among them there could be an appearance in the iconic 24 hours of Le Mans in France.
The Indian was part of the Le Mans weekend in 2009, but could not participate in the race due to a dislocated shoulder. Therefore, it can be said that Karthikeyan has pending issues in Le Mans.
Frequent trips to Japan to compete and try finally met Karthikeyan. He was the leading Dunlop tire test driver in Japan, developing his Super GT tires, in a series that is one of the last in the world to have a 'tire war' between four different tire manufacturers.
Karthikeyan is stepping back from Super GT and its rigorous development and career calendar to focus on its commercial business related to the automobile.
2019 has been an incredible year for me, but also very busy. I have traveled to Japan so many times that I have actually lost count. My year ended in the most incredible way by winning the DTM x Super GT Dream Race, Karthikeyan said.
I would like to thank Satoru-san and the entire Nakajima Racing family for having been such a fantastic year. I have run with them for some years in Japan, and I really feel that I have a second family in Japan, he said.
President Satoru Nakajima added: Narain adapted very well to the new demands of the Honda NSX-GT Super GT500 car in 2019. It was a difficult start to the year, but in the second half of the season, his hard work and hard work ethics demonstrated, since the improvements in their performance were very good. His victory in the DTM x JSGT Dream race was very difficult, but he drove superbly, winning against some of the best sports car drivers in the world. Although we would have liked to continue competing for Nakajima Racing in 2020 and beyond, Narain has decided to explore other opportunities. We wish him all the best, said Nakajima. BS APA APA