Estoril: Atul Gupta, managing director of a computer company in South Africa, has paid approximately $20 million to become the seat holder of Team India in the A1 Grand Prix. Apart from being a profitable investment, he also believes that A-1 will go a long way in developing motorsports in India. "It is more of a passion for me. We want to prove that just like IT, we will dominate the world of motorsport also," said Atul Gupta, Chairman, A-1 Team India. Like every other country participating in the A-1 GP, India will also be represented by a standardised car and by an Indian driver supported by an Indian pit crew. In fact, motorsports coach Akbar Ebrahim, who is also the father of the national go-karting champion Arman Ebrahim, has been appointed the manager of Team India. And with Narain Karthikeyan unavailable because of his Formula One commitment with Jordan, Armaan and Karun Chandhok are most likely to be the lead drivers for Team India. "We will not go for the top driver. We will like to have the up coming drivers," said Gupta. In fact, Atul Gupta is roping in some Bollywood pizzazz to further popularise the A-1 Grand Prix. Actor Anil Kapoor represented India at the launch of team China in Shanghai last month. As far as the sponsorship is concerned, the public sector has shown considerable interest, in fact even more than the private sector. "Sponsorships are to come from local sponsors and we have approached both private and public sector enterprises. But we are still in the process of finalising the terms," said Gary Naidoo, GM Marketing, A-1 Team India. Team India's next challenge will be to host one of the A-1 races in India, and then with an international standard track in place, it can only enhance India's chances of hosting a Formula 1 race.
Topics : Formula 1