Indian to get Jordan Midland seat

UPDATE #3 The new Midland-Jordan Formula 1 will announce this afternoon that it has signed contracts with India's Narain Karthikeyan and Portugal's Tiago Monteiro. 02/01/05 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today with an announcement that the first Indian driver will be on the grid in F1 in 2005. Story to follow on Hot News page. 02/01/05 Narain Karthikeyan is on pole position to snare a 2005 seat at Midland-owned F1 team Jordan. The 28-year-old, who would become India's first ever grand prix hero, revealed that he's received an 'offer' from Trevor Carlin, Midland's sporting director and an old F3 contact. A PTI press report quoted him as saying: ''I'm 90 per cent hopeful of making it.'' Karthikeyan – who's tested for Jaguar, Jordan and Minardi in the past – also admitted that the offer involved a request for several million in sponsor cash. He's backed by Tata, J K Tire and Bharat Petroleum. GMM 01/26/05 India’s top racing driver is closing in on his dream of becoming the first man from his country to compete in the Formula 1 World Championship. Narain Karthikeyan, a front-runner in the World Series by Nissan for the past three seasons, looks set to join the Midland-owned Jordan team in 2005.

The Madras-born 28-year-old has strong links with Midland sporting director Trevor Carlin. After working his way up the junior ranks in Britain, in 1999 he gave the Carlin Motorsport team its first two wins in British Formula 3 and in 2000 scored the squad’s first international win in the Korean Super Prix. He returned to Carlin to compete in the World Series in ’03.

Steel conglomerate Midland, the new owner of the Jordan team, has big interests in India, a country which F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has long been keen to exploit. Karthikeyan tested for the Jordan (below) and Jaguar F1 teams in 2001 and has since had a run-out for Minardi. He has a reputation in the sub-F1 categories for being one of the fastest drivers around and extremely good in the wet, but for also having a propensity for unforced accidents. Autosport Magazine

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