Narain Karthikeyan enjoyed his A1GP bow in New Zealand last month so much he says he now plans to make a habit of it, having led Team India to its first points since its entry into the nation vs. nation contest 16 months ago.

The Williams test driver joined the outfit for the first time in Taupo, having for a long time stated he had no interest in competing in the championship. Now he has taken the plunge, however, he insists he has absolutely no regrets.

"I was bored!" he told, explaining the reason behind his change of heart. "That's my honest opinion. I hadn't raced for one-and-a-half years and I didn't want to lose my touch in case anything came up in Formula 1. You need to go through the Friday, Saturday and Sunday as a racing driver to keep your racing juices flowing."

If he was at all race-rusty, though, it certainly didn't show, as he planted the Indian entry on the fifth row of the grid at a track he had never so much as seen before. Better still, the 30-year-old then went on to register a brace of top ten finishes in the tightly-fought series, finally getting the national squad off the mark and vaulting the hitherto back-of-the-grid team up to 17th place out of 22 countries in the title standings.

"The pressures of it all soon come back to you," he acknowledged, "and once you get going again you're fine. I adapted quite well I think.

"It's very different to driving a Formula 1 car; they say it's like an F3000 car, which I've never driven before. The atmosphere is very relaxed, the concept is great and the racing is close, so it's all quite enjoyable and I think I will be doing some more."

Although admitting his longer-term future probably lies in sportscars, Karthikeyan said he was happy to remain in A1GP for the present, and keen to continue to put his talent and experience to good use as Team India strives to fight its way up the international order. Victory, he believes, is not out of the question, and this for an outfit that before his arrival had a best finish of a lowly 11th place to its credit.

"The goal has to be to progress from where we left off," he stated, "and let's see what happens from there. Obviously I want to win as soon as possible, and I think we can do that."



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