Karthikeyan Secures Jordan Drive

Indian Narain Karthikeyan is to drive for Jordan in the 2005 Formula One season after securing an offer from the team, his manager said on Tuesday.

Karthikeyan Secures Jordan Drive

Indian Narain Karthikeyan is to drive for Jordan in the 2005 Formula One season after securing an offer from the team, his manager said on Tuesday.

Karthikeyan, 28, will be the first Indian in motor racing history to take part in the F1 championship.

"In principle I have agreed to drive for the Jordan F1 team for the 2005 season," he told a news conference in Bombay. "We will be signing the agreement in the next couple of days."

He has test-driven for Jordan, Jaguar and Minardi in the last three years when he was the first Indian to drive an F1 car.

"Narain has been offered a full drive by Jordan as their number one driver. He has accepted it," his manager Sanjay Sharma told Reuters.

Sharma said Karthikeyan had given his confirmation to Jordan and would address a news conference in Bombay later on Tuesday.

A spokesman for Jordan in London would not confirm a final deal had been reached and said an announcement by the team was expected sometime in the next two days.

Jordan have yet to announce their drivers for the 2005 season, which starts next month. They finished ninth among 10 teams in 2004.

Minardi offered Karthikeyan a drive in 2003, but he missed out as he was unable to raise the huge sum required to secure the offer. He currently drives in the World Series Championship.

Dubbed the 'fastest Indian in the world', his Formula One hopes were boosted by the takeover by Midland of Jordan and the presence of Midland sporting director Trevor Carlin, for whom he raced in British Formula Three.

"Trevor Carlin's presence was big plus as he had always bet on Narain's capabilities," Sharma said.

Karthikeyan would face no problem raising the big sum required to sign-up with Jordan as he had the full backing of his chief Indian sponsors, he added.

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