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It is difficult to get sponsors for racing: Narain

April 26, 2012 19:33 IST

India's first ever Formula One driver Narain Karthikeyan on Thursday said finding sponsors for racing events is not easy for racers these days in view of the economic crunch.

"It is not easy to find sponsors nowadays, especially in the current economic circumstances worldwide," he told a Meet-the-Press in Thiruvananthapuram.

Narain KarthikeyanNarain was in the city to explore the possibilities of conducting F1 demonstration drives on the roads of the state capital.

"If authorities permit, I would like to give Kerala capital a demo drive. We are scouting possibilities of conducting demo drives during Onam (festival) days, the peak tourism season. As a huge tourist destination, Kerala can benefit from F1 as it woos tourists largely," he said.

"Similar demo drives have already been conducted in cities like Delhi and Mumbai. The proposed drives in Kerala will be the first of its kind in the south," he said.

To garner support for his mission, he met state Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar and visited the state's premier IT hub Technopark.

After assessing the suitability of the major roads in the city, the 35-year-old motorist said roads here are relatively in good shape and not as congested as those of Chennai or Bangalore. At least 600-800 metre roads were needed to conduct racing drives, he said.

Narain said he took to racing thanks to his early initiation to 'go-karting'.

Surprised to note that Thiruvanathapuram, the state capital, did not have a single such facility, he said "Go-karting is extremely essential for beginners. While the sport is taken very seriously in other states of south India, Kerala is yet to establish a racetrack."

If government and business houses were looking to promote the sport, they should consider setting up a track, he said.

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