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Karthikeyan being wooed for A1 series

July 30, 2005 21:09 IST

India's A1 Grand Prix series team are hopeful Formula One driver Narain Karthikeyan will lead their campaign when the new championship starts in September.

The 28-year-old became India's first F1 driver when he made his debut with Jordan earlier this season.

Narain Karthikeyan"We have ongoing discussions with Narain," said A1 Team India manager Akbar Ebrahim on Saturday.

"We are discussing his participation on a daily basis," he added at the launch of the team. "Narain is very positive to be part of the A1 series.

"He has his obligations to F1. If it does permit him to drive at the end of the F1 season, he will be our number one choice."

The A1 series, dubbed the World Cup of motor racing, is the brainchild of Sheikh Maktoum Hasher al-Maktoum, a member of Dubai's ruling family.

Teams will use identical single-seater Lola cars.

The championship, seen as one notch below F1, will make its debut on England's Brands Hatch circuit on September 25.

Designed to fill the gap over the European winter months when the F1 season is over, the 12-race A1 series will run until March.

Out of 25 teams expected to take part, all but six have confirmed their entries, Ebrahim said.

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Australia, China, South Africa, Britain, Portugal, Malaysia, Pakistan and Netherlands are among those who will participate.

The A1 will be run on a franchise basis by national teams with drivers and sponsors from that country.

Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor and Indian-born South African businessman Atul Gupta hold the franchise for the Indian team.

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