Indian ace Formula One driver Narain Karthikeyan has been given a chance to compete in the first two races of the 2013 Auto GP World series for single-seater. He will be driving for the Zele racing team in this Series. The fist race of the eight round championship commences on 23rd March at Monza, Italy. Narain will team up with Luciano Bacheto, who was the 2012 Formula 2 Champion.
For Narain, the 2012 Formula One season ended on a disappointing note. He finished below 20th position for most of the year and his team, HRT (Hispania Racing Team) has now been sold off due to heavy losses. Narain hopes to make up for lost glory by making the most of the Auto GP season. Reportedly, he was able to secure a place in Auto GP at the last minute, after not making it to Formula One this year. Commenting on this, he was quoted as saying, “I was looking forward to continuing my F1 career in 2013 with HRT. Unfortunately circumstances within the team led to the operations shutting down. I have decided to accept the invitation from Michael Zele (team owner), as it keeps me driving a high powered single-seater.”
What worked in favour of Karthikeyan was that he had known Michael Zele for a long time and had previously participated with Zele Racing. The racing company made its entry into Auto GP during 2012, during which it managed to finish eighth and last in team standings. Till the year 2009, Auto GP was referred to as Euroseries 3000. Cars used in this championship have Zytek engines and Lola chassis. The current series is being hugely promoted by Coloni Motorsport. There would be two races held every weekend. Interestingly, one of the champions in this series is Romain Grosjean, currently driving for the Lotus Renault team in Formula One.