The Blistering Indian Drivers are making their mark on the International Grid and How!! Over the past many years, we have witnessed young Indian drivers competing on International grounds. Having raced in multiple international championships in my racing career and with a few plans in place for myself in 2023. Be it me or my fellow racing mates, all of us share the same goal of representing our country at every opportunity we can grab.
‘Drive to Survive’ has 100% made an influence on the Motorsport fan base in India, which is helping the sport reach a whole new fan base and produce many rising stars in every discipline of motorsport. In the past, one factor which lacked was not a lot of exposure given to the sport. Resulting in very fewer media coverage, hardly any track time for drivers, and limited opportunities and sponsorships. One can say back then the phrase “Motorsport is for the rich” made sense. But to see the current pack of young talent coming up right from the grassroots level of the sport proves that FMSCI - Federation of Motor Sports Clubs Of India has truly put in the work for every discipline towards their growth and is creating opportunities for those who are at the best of their game. We have it all in India with much easier access and experts in each discipline to train the upcoming drivers and riders.
Although there is a long way for us to go, it makes not just me but everyone who follows us racers and riders feel beyond proud looking at the bunch of drivers participating Internationally. Here are a few names who are my dear fellow mates in the sport, you need to keep an eye out for this year!
First up, we have the Maini Brothers! Arjun Maini scored a P3 in the Bronze Class at the GT World Challenge Europe and after quite a successful season last year, he is all set to compete in his second DTM season for Mercedes AMG with Haupt Racing very soon, while the Younger brother Kush Maini is already acing it out on track in his Debut year in FIA Formula 2 Championship as a rookie. With P3 at the Australian GP in his bag, he is currently running 5th in the championship after 4 rounds and with 10 more rounds to go. He is certainly a driver you would want to watch out for if you are racing against him.
Jehan Daruvala is a name who has made every Indian proud over the years, he is currently in his third year in the FIA Formula 2 championship with MP Motorsport. We will now also see him with Mahindra Racing as he has taken up the role of a Reserve driver for the team in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. He was recently part of the Formula E Rookie Test representing Mahindra Racing which occurred after the Berlin E-Prix last month.
Next up, Two young boys who are very close buddies off track but have also been teammates and fought hard on track against each other in the past 2 years. This year both Ruhaan Alva and Jaden Pariat are racing in different championships in the UK. Ruhaan Alva is racing in the GB4 Championship with Fortec Motorsports. With Round 1 already underway he finished an Impressive P7 in the Race 1 & 3 at Oulton Park. While Jaden Pariat is in his 2nd year at the British F4 championship and will be racing the full season for the first time with Argenti Motorsport. In Round 1 of British F4 at Donington Park, Jaden achieved his First Podium of the season at P3 becoming the 1st Indian in 6 years to finish on the podium in Championship.
In a small conversation with both of them.
Mira - Ruhaan you always seem to be a calm personality on track, you have raced internationally in Karts, but how does the competition in GB4 make you feel?
Ruhaan - Racing internationally in karts was a lot easier than this because it gets harder as you move up the ladder. In cars, the issue is we don't have any seat time compared to the drivers who live here and are always testing here. But Feels good to be able to race in such a competitive championship with a team so experienced.
Mira - Jaden you started racing in 2020 and quickly moved up to bigger championships every year. Why did you decide to make those moves and Race in British F4 out of all other championships?
Jaden - I did move through the categories very fast since it's been only 2 and a half years since I started, the reason was because of two things, 1) I started slightly later than everyone, and 2) because I needed to start progressing internationally to be able to be competitive in my later stages and gain as much experience as possible. British F4 was an Awesome pick because the circuits and the drivers are very challenging and competitive and not only the racing but they also focus on the off-track side of racing which is also very helpful for me.
Mira - Do you feel there are a bunch of new opportunities building up for the upcoming generation like yourself in India?
Ruhaan - Yeah I feel like motorsport is growing in India quite a bit. We are slowly seeing a ladder being built for drivers to progress through the ranks which is fantastic.
Jaden - Yes I do because a lot of new championships are being introduced in India, and that gives drivers a chance to step into something more serious and competitive. India is also now really becoming a respected name in motorsports with two of our Indian drivers in F2 and is also being successful in the junior categories which are bringing the attention of those internationally which will be helpful for the upcoming generation in India.
Aishwarya Pissay participated in the Morocco Desert Challenge 2023 finishing P50 overall and P3 in the women’s category. She is one of India’s Foremost 2-Wheeler Female athletes, proving her talent wherever she goes.
Lastly, we have another two young boys Raaj Bakhru and Krish Gupta racing in the IAME Series Asia Karting championship this year with RL Karting in Malaysia. They put up a strong fight in Round 2 finishing P6 and P5 respectively. Krish missed out on the podium due to a bumper penalty bringing him down to P5.
The list doesn't end here! With 7 months to go in 2023, we will have many more athletes achieving their goals and making it to the list. Hopefully, with MotoGP and Formula E coming to India the opportunities have increased for all of us in each discipline. All I can wish for is equal opportunities to be given to all athletes truly based on their performance and we shall see many more athletes raising the Indian flag on International Grounds.