The Indian driver has been part of the European Championship since 2018.
Advait Deodhar is an up and coming Indian sensation on the racing scene. After graduating in automobile designing from Turin, Italy, he transitioned into motorsports. He competed in India from 2012-2014 and had a successful run.
However, in 2015, he moved to London to give a push to his career. Since 2018, Advait Deodhar has been part of the European NASCAR Championship. Its a championship he is a part of even today, with hopes of touching new heights. In an exclusive interview with Khel Now, Deodhar shared details about his journey and his dreams behind the wheels. The star racer joined us from Italy, where he’s practicing with his team before the start of the season.
On his foray into motorsports
Advait Deodhar opened up about his fascination for cars and how he was bitten by the motorsports bug at an early age. “I think I always liked cars ever since I was a kid. I have an incredible amount of passion for the sport and for cars. It was always a big dream of mine since I was a child to start motor racing. It’s like they say, follow the dream and never give up,” he said confidently.
Advait also spoke about the reaction he got from his family regarding his career choice of becoming a racer. “My parents are very open-minded. They knew about the crazy passion I have (for the sport). So, they fully supported me with my decision.” However, he did point out how his parents warned him about the huge financial resources needed for the sport. “We can support you with so much only till a certain extent, but after that, you have to figure out things yourself,” was what his parents advised him. The words of his folks acted as a reality check for the racer.
On his first day on the track
“I started racing pretty late. I was 22 when I raced for the first time and it was after my college graduation. Because by that age people were already racing in Formula 1. My first race was very exhilarating and exciting. It was in Chennai in July 2012. It was everything I dreamt of and more,” said Advait Deodhar.
“The only bad thing was I finished second last. It was a reality check for me in a way, but nonetheless very exciting. That was when I decided this was something I was going to do,” surmised the die-hard racing fanatic,” he added.
On his best career moment & reason behind choosing NASCAR over Formula GP
Reflecting on his career Advait Deodhar also spoke about his best moments on the track. “My best moment would definitely be my first win. You have just crossed the finish line and entered the pit while your teammates come in to congratulate you, is a different kind of a feeling. You are looking behind you and you see 24-25 cars that you have just beat, really pumps your adrenaline.”
“I still feel the same when I win a race and that feeling is really hard to replicate,” he said. The 32-year-old also gave us the reason he decided to venture in NASCAR over Formula Grand Prix. He said, “It was two reasons that influenced my decision. Firstly, I am very tall (6’4′ ft), so it was difficult for me to fit into the cockpit. Secondly, I did not have that huge financial backing you need to get into Formula 1. I feel like I was just in the right place and the right time that I got an opportunity with NASCAR. Things went well and it escalated from there,” he added.
On why he chose to move to the UK
Advait Deodhar moved to the UK with hopes of making it big in the motor racing world. However, his first big break in racing came in his home country. “I started in India, raced in the country during 2012-2014. I did quite well as well, finished second in the National Championships. But, there was no higher championship to compete in,” he noted.
“There were no sponsorships either (in India). So, I looked at the possible options. And the UK being in Europe, one of the English speaking countries with a huge motor racing scene, caught my attention. I got myself a one-way ticket to London and here I am based since then,” he added.
The Mumbai-born Deodhar also spoke about his other profession. He also works as a yacht broker for TJB Super Yachts Limited. Speaking on his career outside the racing track. he said, “I became a yacht broker to help fund my racing. Because there is no sponsorship at the moment. As a yacht broker, I sell and rent out big private superyachts. I deal with some pretty interesting people. I deal with boats in different parts of the world and it helps me race.
On his role-models in the sport
The NASCAR driver also spoke about his own idols on the track.” When I was a child my idol was Michael Schumacher. At that time, Michael was Michael and obviously everyone was following him. Since 2007, I have been a massive Lewis Hamilton fan and I think he is incredible. Max Verstappen is also there though. I am also his huge fan and I feel he has raised the bar. So, its kind of hard to choose for me. Both Lewis and Max are my heroes.”
On Indian racing scene & lack of popularity in subcontinent
Advait Deodhar also shared his views on the current racing scenario in the country. “India has a lot of talented drivers, but unfortunately we lack the infrastructure and financial backing to compete on an international level. We don’t have enough race tracks or high-level race cars and there’s no support in order to go racing.”
“So, although the racing scene is quite active in India, it’s not at a place where it should be. Moreover, since the sport is frightfully expensive, it keeps the majority of people away from the sport,” lamented the thoughtful driver. However like every cloud has a silver-lining, Advait is also hopeful that a future Indian world motor racing champion might change that situation.
On his training regimen and future goals
Advait Deodhar also spilt the beans on his future goals. He stated, “My immediate goal is that I want to be the Euro Nascar 2 champion. Following this, I want to be the first Indian European Nascar champion this year and eventually make my way to the US, to race in the Xfinity Series, Cup Series, to win a race in America. And hopefully, participate in and win the Daytona 500,” he concluded.
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