Narain Karthikeyan is eyeing a switch to the IndyCar Series

Ex-F1 driver Narain Karthikeyan is targeting a return to the US racing scene, with the Indian believing that his previous oval racing experience in America could prove valuable to a prospective employer.

While the 36-year-old is still holding out slim hopes of landing a Formula 1 seat for the 2013 season, the Indian has confirmed he has held talks with frontrunning IndyCar outfits, including Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Autosport.

Karthikeyan’s oval racing experience comes from a short stint in the NASCAR Truck series in 2010, earning a best finish of 11th place at the Texas Motor Speedway.

“There are obviously some very big differences between NASCAR and IndyCar, but the oval racing experience I have can only help,” Kartikeyan told AUTOSPORT in an interview.

“There will be a lot to learn, but at least I have a small advantage over a total rookie.”

While Karthikeyan has never shown frontrunning speed during his stop-start F1 car – admittedly running in some pretty ordinary cars as well – he has been a winner in virtually every other championship in which he has competed.

Perhaps with that history in mind, he admitted he was hopeful of mirroring the success that fellow ex-F1 pilot Rubens Barrichello enjoyed in his first season of IndyCar racing in 2012.

The Brazilian wasn’t immediately quick out of the box with the KV Racing squad, but once up to speed, he was a regular top-ten runner and finished twelfth overall in the championship standings.

“If you look at what Rubens achieved in IndyCars last year, you can see that it is possible to get some good results even if you are not driving for a top team straight away,” Karthikeyan added.

“So hopefully with the experience I have, I should be able to do a good job and prove myself.”

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.