CHENNAI: Are you really good at racing simulations? If yes, there's a chance you might get a shot to prove your speed in a real racing car.
India's first Formula One driver Narain Karthikeyan has partnered with eSports organisation Ultimate E, founded by racers Aditya Patel and Arman Ebrahim, to help gamers make the transition from virtual to real-life racing. As a first step, Narain's NK Racing Academy will sign up Chennai's 16-year-old Amith Kutty, who has been excelling at various virtual racing leagues.
"In the first edition of this collaboration, we have decided to sign up Amith Kutty who has excelled in multiple eSports leagues and has easily come on top as the fastest gamer in India. Amith will be testing for NK Racing Academy in our karting programme in the near future once the lockdown is lifted where the academy will evaluate his capabilities, train him and ultimately push him to a race seat in the Rotax Max national championship," Narain was quoted as saying in a joint statement issued by him and Ultimate E.
For those wondering if excelling in a virtual simulation is proof of mastering an actual racing car, Aditya says the basics of both are the same.
"The games these days are so realistic, even Formula One racers use these races to practice for their games. Karting obviously is very important because that's the first step in motorsports. But before that, to learn the basics of the sport, gaming and simulation is actually picking up a lot," he said.
Patel hopes Amith can pave a new path in a country where entering motorsports is not financially viable to every aspiring kid. Both he and Narain were impressed by Amith's skill.
"He has never driven a race-car before or done go-karting. Despite that, when you put him in any racing simulation, he understands the concept behind what he needs to do to be fast. He has the ability to beat the best in the business, whether they are gamers or race-drivers. We think it's good to give him an opportunity and I hope he can prove a lot of people wrong," he said.