Coimbatore: Narain Karthikeyan's entry into the Formula One circuit has inspired an entire generation of young Indians to take to motorsports, but it would seem that the influence has spread across the Palk straits as well. India is now the new training ground for Sri Lankan motorsports racers keen to make a mark on the racing track. Learning curve Twenty Sri Lankan race drivers are currently participating in a three day training programme in Coimbatore. The drivers are being sponsored by the Asian Motor Racing Club in an effort to promote and encourage race drivers in Sri Lanka. While motorsports are popular on the emerald island, a lack of infrastructure makes it difficult for aspiring racers to make a name for themselves. Focus on basic skills The racing driver development program consists of theory sessions in racing technique, and practical driving and assessment. The aim is to impart basic skills to the visiting race drivers. "We deal with basic techniques such as throttle inputs, the correct racing technique, how to use clutch in the racing car, how to shift gears in a racing car which is very different from what we do in a normal road car and try to make them technically a much better driver," said Akbar Ibrahim, Manager, Sri Lankan Motorsport Trainging Programme. Indian motorsport authorities plan to host an Indo-Sri Lankan racing championship by the end of 2006, to give Sri Lankan racers the necessary opportunities and exposure to a higher level of motor racing.