Narain Karthikeyan’s NK Racing Academy has teamed up with Italian karting giant CRG, in a move that will give a big boost to Indian motorsport at the grassroots level. The new deal sees NK Racing Academy become CRG’s official factory team in the Indian subcontinent. While they currently have outings planned in the Indian National Karting Championship, the academy will also conduct training programmes for budding racers.

NK Racing Academy becomes CRG’s official factory team in India

Fastest racers to graduate to CRG’s factory team in Italy

New karting training programme launched

NK Racing Academy karting programme

The NK Racing Academy has launched a training programme for drivers in both junior and senior classes of karting. CRG will provide full factory support to the academy for this, in terms of both expertise and equipment. The programme will focus on seeking out local talent at a young age and developing their skills to help them sustain a professional career in motorsport.

Each driver will be chosen through a rigorous, multi-level selection process, taking into account their driving technique, skills, mental ability and fitness. Karthikeyan will personally assess their performance and help them improve their race craft.

The quickest drivers from the academy will then graduate to CRG’s factory team in Italy, making the all-important step up to karting on an international level in Europe.

For now, NK Racing Academy will participate in the 2020 Indian National Karting Championship with two drivers, Divy Nandan from Delhi and David Ryan from Chennai. They’ll be competing with the CRG KT2 chassis. The academy plans to induct more drivers in the coming months.

Speaking about the partnership, Karthikeyan said, “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.”

What is the NK Racing Academy?

Since its inception in 2006, NK Racing Academy has focused on training young racing talent in the country to make it big in the motorsport arena. In fact, one of India’s most prominent GT racers Aditya Patel is a product of the academy, having spent his formative racing years training there.

Earlier this year, NK Racing Academy signed a deal with virtual racing series Ultimate E to identify and train eSports racers for a potential future in motorsport.

CRG karting legacy

CRG boasts a storied legacy in the world of karting. Their factory karting team has churned out some of the most prominent racers in the world, including Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen.

“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,” said Giancarlo Tinini, Founder and Chairman, CRG SpA.

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