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Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Indian F1 track can be among top five: Karthikeyan


Noida, (The Telegraph): One could clearly see the excitement in the eyes of Neel Jani after he drove at the Buddh International Circuit for the first time, on Tuesday.
For about 20 minutes, the Swiss driver of Indian origin drove a Red Bull car at top speed and looked every bit a satisfied man as he roared back to the pit.
"This is one of the best tracks in the world," said Jani. "There are few issues here and there, but those could be sorted out very soon," he said after the circuit was unveiled amidst fanfare. This circuit will host Formula One's first-ever Indian Grand Prix on October 30.
There has been much speculation about the completion of the track. But all doubts were put to rest when the 5.4-km long racetrack, Jaypee's Buddh International Circuit, was formally opened in the presence of Manoj Gaur, the chairman of Jaypee Group and Vicky Chandhok, president of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) and star Indian race driver Narain Karthikeyan.
The circuit is said to become the second fastest track on the F1 calendar after Monza and expects the fastest lap time to be under one minute 27 seconds, with average speed crossing 210 kmph. There will be a total of 60 laps in the race (approximately 308 kms).
So impressed was Jani, the first to drive a F1 car on the track after it was formally unveiled that he called it an "amazing" circuit". "I am simply proud to be driving here. The track is still dusty but that would be sorted very soon. Driving here will be a huge challenge," said Jani.
Karthikeyan, too, was hugely impressed by the newly-constructed track. "This (track) can be definitely turn out to be one of the best five in the world," he said. A part of the Hispania Racing Team, Karthikeyan was present at the venue that had been kept under wraps for long, generating curiosity as well as speculations.
Designed by German racetrack designer Herman Tilke, the circuit is expected to be one of the most exciting ones in the world. The track's combination of 16 corners, high-speed straights and dramatic changes in elevation have been designed to provide ample opportunities for overtaking, which would make the race a thrilling affair.
The organisers, however, vowed that the track adheres to all safety norms and regulations and has all other facilities to carry out a successful international Formula One race.
"It's the greatest sporting infrastructure created by a private company and it also conforms to the latest set of FIA guidelines," said Gaur. "This track will show the world what India can do. A sports city will also come up around the F1 facilities. It will have infrastructures for cricket, hockey and tennis," he added.
Asked about the security measures that would be put in place during the event, Gaur said, "Security has been beefed up at all levels. We have made no compromise on that front."
One of the questions that the organisers would be asking themselves is how to maintain the track once the race is over. "The circuit needs to be utilised properly and definitely national racing events will be held on this track after Indian Grand Prix. That is how budding Indian racers will come up. Around $400 million has been invested in this project," said Chandhok.
On the occasion, the theme song of the event was also released. Leading singers Leslie Lewis, Daler Mehandi, KK and Lucky Ali rendered the song, Hum mein raftar, jeete bar bar.
source  : yahoo grandprix news

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