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Narain looking for funds to realise his dream

By Our Sports Reporter

Nuvem, (Goa), Dec 14. It's a feeling of Deja Vu for Narain Karthikeyan. Once again he is at that point of his career where all he needs is a couple of million dollars and his participation in the F1 races will become a reality.

Narain, who has landed in Goa direct from Rome as a guest for the JK Tyre Preliminary leg, told The Hindu, "I am so near, yet so far from driving for Minardi in the 2004 F1 races which commence in March next year.''

Narrating his experiences at the Vallelunga Circuit near Rome, Narain said the test was truncated to almost half the original scheduled number of laps because of wet conditions.

"It's an enthralling feeling, steering a F1 car. I can sign on the dotted line tomorrow, if the money can be raised,'' Narain said.

"Though Minardi is not up there on the winners list, it's a great stepping stone. People like Mark Weber and Fernando Alonso have driven for Minardi and moved up,'' Narain remarked.

But despite stiff competition from some Austrian drivers, Narain's almost a certainty to don the Minardi colours if he can get the funding.

"I'm working very hard to get the consortium of Tata's, JK and Amaron to be able to generate the funds,'' Narain disclosed. The Indian ace driver has just finished a test drive for Minardi Cosworth last Friday. After having earlier test driven for Jaguar and Jordan, Narain had no butterflies while doing the latest test. The feedback to the technical team of Minardi had been very valuable and encouraging, Narain said.

Narain feels its crunch time again in his F1 quest. A writer once said: If you put a small value on yourself, the rest of the world will not perceive you differently — If that be so, its time to put a huge value on Narain now.

A value of about two million dollars. The task is onerous but if Narain does get the sponsorship, he will be the second Asian driver on the F1 circuit after the Japanese Sato.

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