Exiled F1 driver Narain Karthikeyan has secured a late deal to drive in the Auto GP championship, which kicks off this weekend at Monza.
The 36-year-old will drive for the Austrian-based Zele Racing team alongside reigning Formula 2 champion Luciano Bacheta.
It is understood that the former Jordan and HRTF1 driver’s deal could expand to a multi-race contract in the eight-round championship, which takes double-billing with the FIA World Touring Car Championship at several events in 2013.
The Indian driver won’t have had any lead-in time to test the series’ cars, although he familiar with the chassis’ origins, which stem from the 2006-7 Lola designs raced in the defunct A1GP championship.
Karthikeyan isn’t the first ex-F1 driver to sample the Auto GP championship. Romain Grosjean became the series’ inaugural champion in 2010, the year after his disappointing part-season with the Renault F1 team.
More recently, former Jaguar and Williams F1 reject Antônio Pizzonia became a racewinner in the series, claiming victory in both heats on his championship debut with a one-off outing at Curitiba.