NK Racing Academy joins hands with Italian karting brand CRG to promote karting in India
As part of the arrangement, NK Racing Academy will become the official factory team of the Italian karting giant in the Indian subcontinent
NK Racing Academy, the driver development programme founded by India’s first Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan, is pleased to announce a partnership with Italian karting giant CRG to promote grassroots motorsport in the country. Between 2006 and 2010, the academy won multiple national single-seater championships and developed several young drivers including Aditya Patel, who stood on the top step of the podium in several international races.
For its part, CRG, based in Lonato del Garda, Italy, is the world’s leading manufacturer of racing karts and was the kart of choice of Formula 1 stars including six-time world champion (and current F1 championship polesitter) Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and many more in their formative years in motorsport.
NK Racing Academy will receive full factory support from CRG, utilising its expertise and state-of-the-art equipment to foster the development of India’s next racing stars. The academy has launched a training programme for budding drivers in both the junior and senior classes of karting, with the aim of scouting local talent at a young age and steering their careers forward.
Each driver will be chosen through a rigorous, multi-level selection process, taking into account their skills, driving technique, mental ability and fitness level. Those selected will receive extensive support and guidance from Narain, who will personally assess their individual performances and help improve their craft. The cherry on the cake will be the drivers’ early exposure to the CRG’s top-class; championship-winning chassis and data logging systems with over a dozen sensors in the kart which will help the drivers monitor their driving techniques digitally and improve throughout the year. Moreover, the quickest drivers from the academy will get the opportunity to graduate to CRG’s factory team in Italy, allowing them to pit themselves against the best kart racers from Europe.
Speaking on the developments, Narain Karthikeyan, founder, NK Racing Academy, was upbeat, saying, “This is a great opportunity for us to be in a partnership with a brand like CRG and help the drivers in karting with the best equipment and training. I feel I can contribute a lot with the experience I have gained over the years and hopefully many young drivers benefit from this partnership.”
Narain’s enthusiasm was echoed by Giancarlo Tinini, founder and chairman, CRG SpA, who said “CRG is pleased to enter into a partnership with Narain Karthikeyan and his racing academy. Narain is the first F1 driver to emerge from India and it is our aim to successfully help generate the next big motorsport talent from there. Our collaboration will go beyond go-kart racing and we look forward to extending our activities into the Indian market.”
NK Racing Academy will participate in the National Karting Championship with two drivers, Divya Nandan from Delhi and David Ryan from Chennai to start with and plans to induct more drivers, competing for the championship in using the CRG KT2 chassis.