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GP Week : Issue 13
In India we never had any karting until two or three years ago. I didn’t have the opportunities that the Hamiltons or the Kovalainens had ... – KARUN CHANDHOK on racing in India Celebrating in style: Karun Chandhok was a happy, and popular, winner when he took his first GP2 win at Spa last year, above. GP2 INSIGHT >> turnover of new faces, new drivers coming in, isn’t as good as we’d like it to be ideally for the development of the sport.” One of the biggest issues however remains that of budget. India may have a rapidly expanding economy, but in a nation where motor racing is only today starting to cross the class boundaries and permeate the national conscious, finding sponsors is still difficult. “India is no longer a poor country. It was a third world poor country 15, 20 years ago, but today we’re not. Today we’re the second fastest growing economy in the world, there’s a middle class of 450 million people who have emerged out of nowhere in the last six or seven years and there are corporate businesses there which are a match for competitors anywhere in the world. “The federations and the organisations need to put down some structure. That’s why I have a huge respect for the European countries in terms of driver development. The BRDC give a lot of drivers a £20-£30,000 grant, and it goes a long way. I have a lot of respect for the established motorsport nations, and I think that business model needs to be copied in India.” It’s the “we” in 41