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Chandhok's A-1 plans stalled
August 11, 2005 21:21 IST
Karun Chandhok's hopes of representing India in the A-1 Grand Prix suffered a blow on Thursday with the motorsport's national governing body expressing its inability to give him a suitable driver's license for the current season.
Chandhok needed an Indian license to be eligible to participate in the new A-1 GP promoted by Sheikh Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum and to be launched next month.
But Motorsports Association of India (MAI), citing international regulations, said in a press release that the Chennai lad had already driven under a British license this year and cannot procure a fresh one till the end of the year.
The A-1 GP, set to kick off in September, will see teams competing against each other rather than individuals.
Under the International Sporting Code of the FIA, the sport's world governing body, the nationality of the driver is that of his license.
Chandhok drove in the British F3 championship this year with a UK license and so would be treated as a British national.
The FIA Code states that a driver wishing to procure a foreign license would need the agreement of his parent association and his license would stay for that whole year.
But the Code is silent on a situation when a driver wants to revert to his parent body's license.
Chandhok has already surrendered his British license.
It is well known that MAI President Nazir Hoosein and Karun's father Vicky Chandhok, a former national rally champion himself, don't see eye to eye.
Hoosein, however, maintained that the issue was purely a regulatory matter.
"It is a regulatory issue and it is what the FIA says that matters," Hoosein said.
"The British MSA don't mind, and neither has MAI objected (to Chandhok getting an Indian license). The rules are clear.
"Chandhok can race in A1 GP as a British national or get his Indian license after January 1, 2006," he added.
Vicky Chandhok offered a "no comments" response.
"I am aware of the press release but neither I nor Karun have received anything officially from MAI," he said from Chennai.