A well known Indian film star is to swap the film set for the race track in 2010. Ajith Kumar has agreed a deal which will see him race in the FIA Formula 2 Championship in 2010.
Kumar made his racing debut in 2003, competing in selected rounds of the Formula BMW Asia series, where he secured a single top 6 finish before swapping FBMW for British Formula 3 in 2004.
Kumar contested 10 races in the British Formula 3 National class in 2004, recording a brace of top 3 finishes in the class.
With Kumar's acting career taking up most of his time in recent years, he now feels it is right to make a return to competitive race action as interest in motorsport continues to grow in India.
Kumar said about his racing return: “I am really excited about racing in F2. I have a great regard for Jonathan Palmer – thanks to him and his efforts Formula Two is the next best thing to F1. Coming from India with a population of 2 billion, I want to take motor racing in this country to the common man. Right now, it is still a niche sport largely popular in the urban areas. Given my profile as a film star, I hope to use my status to popularise the sport in India.
“I have the confidence of achieving some success in this year’s FIA Formula Two Championship. I have already tested some other cars in Malaysia recently and am looking forward to more practice runs in the F2 car at Snetterton and Silverstone before the event kicks off. I hope my participation, along with Armaan Ebrahim and Parthiva Sureshwaran, will create the right amount of interest in the sport in India.”
Jonathan Palmer, the F2 Series Director said: “I am delighted to welcome Ajith to F2. To have a well known Indian film star who has demonstrated such ambition now racing in F2 is very exciting for the championship, and I really admire Ajith’s determination and enthusiasm. Paul Newman demonstrated that international celebrities can be competitive in international motorsport – and late in his career. Ajith on the other hand is several years younger than both Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello. The F2 team and other drivers look forward to giving maximum support to help Ajith become increasingly competitive.”
Silverstone hosts the opening rounds of the 2010 FIA Formula 2 Championship, on the 16th to 18th April.