Karun to drive for E-Rain Racing in Formula Asia Renault Series
New Delhi, May 4 (UNI) After spending five months in the wilderness since his sour A1 GP stint, Karun Chandhok will be burning rubber again for the Korea-based E-Rain Racing team in the inaugural Formula Asia Renault V6 Series which kicks off at Sepang, Malaysia on May 13.
''Last two years did not go the way I would have liked it and it was really bad last year with some hit-and-miss runs and then after the World Series, I ran out of budget and could not practice,'' recalled the 22-year-old driver from Chennai.
''But with the Renault Series, I hope to be back on the track.
I had only 15 laps in the first test at Sepang because I was yet to sign the contract and still I finished the fastest. It was very encouraging and a positive sign,'' said the ace driver who leaves on Monday for the Series.
On his A1 GP experience, Karun was all candour and said, ''I ran the first two races but then I was not happy with the package. But it was a good concept I must say.'' Asked if opting for the Renault Series was a step down and whether he should have been in Europe, Karun said, ''I've been off the track since November and it was very difficult to motivate yourself without knowing what future has in store for you. Of course, it's a gamble for Renault as well but going by the credentials of the people running the show, I think it's not a bad move at all. Renauilt has an impeccable pedigree after all.'' ''And at the end of the day, I have to be realistic. This is what I can afford at this stage. Besides, I'll be running on the same V6 engine as used by teams in Europe. The only difference I guess is I'll be driving it in a hotter country,'' he explained.
''This is quite similar to A1 GP. Only the chasis is different - you have the same engine and geaqr box, this is at par with A1 GP,'' he elaborated.
On his long term plan, Karun said next two years would make or mar his career.
''GP2 is the next level for me but that involves a 1.2 million euro package. So I have to think about Rs nine crore, a considerable hike from Rs two crore at this stage. I have to evaluate that.'' On his ultiumate mission, Karun exuded confidence and said, ''I hope by the end of 2007, I should be in a position to give myself some good opportunities in the Formula 1.'' Karun is not cowered by the fact that Narain Karthikeyan, despite a decent first season with Jordan, had to struggle for a team in his second stint and found a place in Williams only as the second test driver.
''Things like this may be scary for others. But I have been in it for quite a long time and I do know what it takes to be there. I don't have any illusion, but I'm not backtracking either,'' he added.
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