Ex-F1 racer Narain Karthikeyan has decided to move on from Super GT after one year in the series in 2019 as he wishes to continue racing in other series.
Having won the Sunday race of the ‘Super GT x DTM Dream Race’ in November, Karthikeyan returned to the top step and ended his maiden year in sportscar racing in style with Nakajima Racing, driving a Honda NSX-GT alongside Tadasuke Makino.
After years in single-seater racing, Karthikeyan switched to Super GT in 2019, where he finished 12th in the drivers’ standings with Makino, scoring 23.5 points with a podium finish. He also worked as a test driver for Dunlop tyres, in a busy year all-round.
However, for 2020, Karthikeyan has decided to move away from Super GT, to not only focus on his automotive venture in India, but carry on racing as well. It remains to be seen as to which championship he races in – a return to Super Formula should not be ruled out.
“2019 was a wonderful year for me, but it was also a very busy year,” said Karthikeyan. “I have been to Japan many times, I have lost count actually. Winning the ‘Super GT X DTM Dream Race’ was superb. It’s been a great year, but it has ended now.
“I’m grateful to Satoru-san and Nakajima Racing for making this a really wonderful year, especially after racing with them in Japan for several years. I feel like I have a second family in Japan, and it was a great honor to work with them all.
“Working with Nakajima-san has been a true privilege, as he is a true legend of motorsport. The people at Modulo, Honda Racing and Dunlop Tyres have been so amazing to work with, and I am very lucky to have had their complete trust and support.”
His team boss Nakajima-san was full praise for Karthikeyan: “Narain has adapted very well to the new requirements of the Honda NSX-GT in 2019. It was a difficult start this year, but later in the season his hard work and strong work ethics were well demonstrated.
“The performance was very good and his victory in the ‘Super GT X DTM Dream Race was very difficult, but he was able to execute it brilliantly and beat the best racing drivers in the world. We wanted him to continue racing in Nakajima Racing after 2020.
“But Narain decided to look for other opportunities, including some in the business world, but he was always the Nakajima Racing family. We all hope that he will succeed in future attempts and look forward to bringing him back to his family.”
It will be now interesting to see where Karthikeyan ends up in 2020, whether he returns to single-seaters or stays in sportscar to race in GT and or endurance championships. Having raced in Japan for so long, a move elsewhere remains to be seen.
Here’s how Narain Karthikeyan won Race 2 of Super GT X DTM