Guid­ing light

Evo India - - Rememberin­g Kari - Narain Karthikeya­n, first In­dian F1 driver

Un­cle Kari’s sin­gle-most im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tion to In­dian sport has been the FISSME, a sort of desi For­mula Ford. Even though rac­ing had ex­isted in In­dia for a while, it was merely a hobby for the rich. Kari had a keen in­ter­est in de­vel­op­ing the sport and had a great eye for spot­ting and nur­tur­ing tal­ent. J Anand, Ak­bar Ebrahim and my­self were in­ducted into his team as up­com­ing tal­ent and I stayed with Kari’s team through­out. He built a dozen or so For­mula Marutis dur­ing 1993/94, and I en­joyed the fore­most pref­er­ence of pick­ing the car I liked, over other driv­ers.

By 1995, Kari had al­ready fin­ished de­sign­ing a brand new 1800cc sin­gle-seater with a rac­ing gear­box. Ev­ery­thing was cus­tom made, the moulds were done and the car would have been on track in six months. It would have cer­tainly put In­dian mo­tor­sport in the fast lane, just like the FISSME had done almost a decade ear­lier. Un­for­tu­nately with his un­timely death, we lost the guid­ing light of In­dian mo­tor­sport which cre­ated a huge void. Things haven’t and will never be the same again.

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