Indian Racing League’s i1 Super Series made an expected announcement a little while ago and this was with regards to their Bangalore and Hyderabad franchise owners. This announcement followed their earlier one where they confirmed Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and self-proclaimed management guru Arindham Chaudhari as the team owners for Mumbai and Delhi respectively.
It was announced that the Hyderabad franchise was bought by Telugu superstar Nagarjuna, who was also a part of Chandrababu Naidu’s team to bring Formula1 to India in the late 90s. Incidentally, Nagarjuna’s nephew, Aditya Akkineni, has dabbled with single seater racing in the past. Will Aditya, who hung up his racing boots a few seasons back, come back to race in the i1 Super Series? The other Hyderabad-bred racer who should be in contention will be Akhil Khushlani. Akhil is currently racing in the JK Racing Asia Series and finished 9th in the support race of the Indian Grand Prix in October.
The Bengaluru franchise has seen some investment bankers show interest and the franchise will be owned by hotelier Arjun Baljee, founder of Peppermint Hotels and a part of the family-run Royal Orchid Hotels. His co-owner will be Rudra Dalmia, a partner in a Delhi-based investment advisory and consulting firm. Bangalore has a good breed of racing car drivers that could be in contention for the seat. Local driver, Karna Kadur, who has raced karts, single-seaters and is now competing in the Indian National Rally Championship should be a good bet. The other Bengaluru racers are Nikhil Kashyap, Arjun and Kush Maini, all of whom also participated in Sahara Force India’s ‘One from a Billion Hunt’.
The Bangalore franchise also has investments from Mohit Burman, who was initially linked with the Delhi franchise.
With this announcement, 4 out of the 9 teams and their owners have been revealed. The first race of the Indian Racing League is expected to be held in January 2012, however, I strongly believe that the organizers will have trouble confirming their debut racing calendar. (Read post: i1 Super Series Calendar Gone For A Toss)
The other big topic of discussion on my blog is whether Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok should race in the i1 Super Series. Read the full post by clicking – Should Narain Karthikeyan Or Karun Chandhok Race In The i1 Super Series