Armaan to test for Indy Lights series

August 17th, 2011 - 9:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Aug 17 (IANS) Armaan Ebrahim’s racing career received a big boost as Bryan Herta Autosport, one of the leading teams in the North American Indy Lights Championship, have invited the 22-year-old Indian for a test drive at Indianapolis Sep 14.

Armaan is the first Indian racer to have received an invite from the Indy Lights Championship, which doubles up a feeder series for the Indy Racing League (IRL), considered the American equivalent of Formula One.

Bryan Herta, the team owner and the 1993 Indy Lights Champion, opined that Armaan, sponsored by JK Tyre and Trimex, has the attributes to make a smooth transition from his current Formula 2 series to the Indy series.

Herta commented: “We are very excited with the possibility of Armaan being with us and racing for us. We have been tracking his career for some time now and are very optimistic that he will fit in well with us and with Indy and most importantly, do extremely well.

“We have fixed the test with Armaan for September 13-14 and will be spending a few days with him and his team in order to see if we can all come to a firm agreement on all aspects for 2012 and 2013.”

Herta had raced alongside Armaan in the 2005 A1 GP series when the Indian set a World record of being the youngest at 16 to represent his country in an international series.

On retirement, Herta founded in 2009 the Bryan Herta Autosport team, and his drivers finished in the top 10 in the past two Indy Lights seasons. Earlier this year, the team’s Dan Wheldon won the Centenary edition of the famous Indy 500 race.

Armaan is obviously excited with the Indy test invite since the 14-round Indy Lights offers prize-money up to the 20th place finisher while the winner of the Championship is eligible for fully paid drive in the IRL the following year.

Armaan said: “I am looking forward to the test in the Indy Lights Car in September and to have long and meaningful discussions with the team and the Elevation Group (a specialist motorsport sponsorship and driver management firm) to see how my future career can pan out.

“Though there are offers to race in the IRL straight away, I may opt to do the Indy Lights first and then move on to the IRL as racing in America is quite different to what we have been used to in Europe. I prefer to take one step at a time.

“Obviously my dream is to drive a Formula 1 car. However, I would rather be in a team that offers an opportunity to win races than be in Formula 1 for the sake of it.

“Thus, it is important that I continue in the right direction and that is financially viable for me. The intention is to have a successful career which is most important and finally get the opportunity of winning races in the IRL and in Formula 1,” said Armaan.

Akbar Ebrahim of Meco Motorsports Pvt Ltd who manage Armaan, said: “It is a great opportunity for Armaan. There is a lot of interest among sponsors at this stage since if Armaan goes ahead with racing in the Indy Lights he will be the most high profile Indian athlete competing across all sporting disciplines in North America.”

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