A memorable date with Formula 3

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/n/narainkarthikeyan.jpg' class='caption'> Karthikeyan's exploits are inspiration not just for rallyists and speed freaks, but also for those who just drive cars to go somewhere.

Updated: December 19, 2007 13:44 IST
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Karthikeyan's exploits are inspiration not just for rallyists and speed freaks, but also for those who probably sit in a car only when they're going somewhere!

It is most apparent in Karthikeyan's home of Tamil Nadu, where the trend of Formula racing seems to be catching on even among corporates.

A tight squeeze with minor adjustments! But the roar of these mean machines more than makes up for that initial hiccup. Welcome to this dealers' day out.

Call it what you like. A corporate bash at popularising Formula 3 racing among amateurs. Or a fast track product promotion.

"We'd love to be more involved with motor sports in India. We are already talking to some business partners and hope that when formula one ends up in India, we can play a bigger role," Zarko Pavlovic, CEO, Exxon Mobil.

Built by the Coimbatore based LGB Group, these cars come with Swift and Hyundai engines, provided free by the automobile majors and tyres from JK, also on the house. And there are standard road components.

The cars are leased out to teams, which in turn lease them out to beginners on a three lakh rupee budget for the year.

Hardly a comparison with other entry level championships like the Formula 4 in the UK or the formula BMW for which the budget is anything between 1,50,000 to 1,70,000 US dollars.

"It's very enjoyable for people but not very enjoyable for us to keep them safe! But it's a good form of entertainment using motor sports as a tool," said Akbar Ibrahim, Racer.

The event was not without its share of star power.

"There is that amount of adrenalin in cricket but this is more exciting! And here is my tryst with Formula 3!" said Mandira Bedi, TV Host.

This is some excitement for dealers of Tata Motors and a golden interlude for journalists, driving these Formula 3 cars on the Irungattulottai track.

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