City racer teen emerges champ at national event
BENGALURU : After winning the MRF National Racing Championship, 17-year-old Sohil Shah is on cloud nine. Sohail says he feels “amazing” about the win since it is his first season in a single-seater national racing championship.It been only a year since Sohil first took a ride in a two-stroke Rotax go-kart. “In June last year, I took part in the Rotax Max National Go-karting Championship. Since then, I have trained in single seater racing events, taken part in the Formula Junior Racing Series (FJRS) and finished second,” says the Class 12 student.
So what inspired the young racer to get into the sport? “I love cars and I love the speed and adrenaline rush. It is also something that runs in the family,” says Sohil. He says his biggest challenge was when he was 18 points behind in the race. However, months of practice, since October last year, and some experience in the FJRS, has helped him improve a great deal.
“I had been practising twice a month since last year on two consecutive days. While I did not travel much last year, I have been traveling every weekend this year, so I opted for the National Institute of Open Schooling programme at DPS East so that I could concentrate on my racing,” he says.
He further adds, “The competition was intense as my fellow competitors pushed me to my limit. Whenever we crossed the finish and starting lines, there would be a different driver leading the race.” Sohail says that his friends and family, especially his dad, were supportive throughout his journey.
One of the most expensive sports in the world, the entry fee for such competitions is between `15,000- `20,000, and around `1.5 lakhs for travel expenses, coaching and machinery. Sohil is now looking forward to participating in round three at the JK Tyre National Racing Championship in October this year in Coimbatore.