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Racing Team India Secures Provisional Entry In 24 Hours Of Le Mans

Racing Team India will become the first all-Indian team to compete in the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans in France, making it a dream come true. The team made an impressive debut in the Asian Le Mans earlier this year.

(L-R) Drivers Naveen Rao, Narain Karthikeyan and Arjun Maini for Racing Team India expand View Photos
(L-R) Drivers Naveen Rao, Narain Karthikeyan and Arjun Maini for Racing Team India

Highlights

  • Racing Team India will be the first Indian team to compete at Le Mans
  • The team has moved to the new Ligier JA P217 chassis for Le Mans 24 Hours
  • The 24 Hours of Le Mans will be held between August 21-22, 2021

Following an impressive debut in the Asian Le Mans in February, Racing Team India is all set to create history once again by becoming the first all-Indian team to compete in the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans Championship later this year. The team has secured a spot on the official 62-car entry list of the iconic racing event scheduled between August 21-22, 2021, to be held at the Circuit de la Sarthe. The team will see Narain Karthikeyan, Arjun Maini and Naveen Rao back in the driver's seat, aiming to put up a strong performance in the 89th edition of the endurance racing championship.

Also Read: Racing Team India Finishes 5th In Asian Le Mans Championship, Will Chase Le Mans 24 Hours Dream

A post shared by Racing Team India (@racingteamindia)

Speaking about the announcement, Padma Shri Awardee and India's first Formula One driver Narain Karthikeyan said, "This is a proud moment not just for our team, but for our nation as a whole. Racing at Le Mans with an Indian team is a dream I have nurtured since 2009 when I first visited the Circuit de la Sarthe. I would like to thank all of our sponsors and partners, and especially the ACO and the Asian Le Mans Series team, without whose support this wouldn't have been possible. It's been a long time coming but finally, we're all set to put Indian motorsport on the global endurance racing map."

The passion project for Karthikeyan saw the team make an impressive debut in the Asian Le Mans series earlier in the year. The team managed to finish fifth after two four hour races, overcoming several issues and a steep learning curve in a short duration.

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Racing Team India finished 5th In Asian Le Mans Series Debut

With the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France, the team comes closer to its ultimate goal and has partnered with Eurasia Motorsport. The latter has been competing in the LMP2 regular class in the World Endurance Championship and finished in the top 15 in last year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. Racing Team India will compete in the LMP2 Pro/Am class backed by the technical expertise and know-how of Eurasia Motorsport.

Also Read: Ferrari To Make Return To Le Mans, Announces Its Next HyperCar For 2023 

Compared to the Asian Le Mans, the big change for Racing Team India is the adoption of the new Ligier JA P217 chassis. The Indian team previously used the Oreca-07 in the Asian Le Mans and the car is one of four LMP2 chassis to be homologated by the Le Mans organisers - ACO, FIA and IMSA. The chassis is paired with the 4.2-litre Gibson-sourced V8 engine that develops 600 bhp and comes with electronics developed by Cosworth.

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(L-R) Drivers Naveen Rao, Narain Karthikeyan and Arjun Maini for Racing Team India

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is considered the holy grail of endurance racing and is one of the oldest motorsport events in the world. It is regarded as the ultimate test of man and machine that lap the circuit for 24 hours straight at speeds in excess of 300 kmph on the fastest sections. Over the years, the event has allowed manufacturers to showcase the durability of their vehicles and test new technologies. It's also shown some splendid work of strategy, teamwork and driving skills. Traditionally held in June every year, the race has been postponed this year in the wake of the pandemic. The organisers decided to push the dates to August in hopes of having spectators back at the circuit.

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