COIMBATORE: For Ajay Kini, racing is passion. He lives and breathes motorsport. This passion has seen him win three National championships, with the latest one being the LGB Formula 4 title in 2015. Being a race driver in India is not a viable career option at the moment but Kini found a way to pursue his passion and fund it. He is an airline pilot with Indigo.
“Racing is a passion for me and I will continue to race,” he said during the Euro JK 16 races in the JK Tyre-FMSCI National Racing Championship here.
“I have been racing since I was in 10th standard. I wanted to take up motor racing as a career but I realised that it is difficult in India. I wanted to study automobile engineering. When I started racing, there were other pilots who were also racing. Since flying is about speed and machines, I became a pilot. I got a scholarship through Kingfisher Airlines cadet programme and became a pilot. That turned out to be good because I can fund myself,” he added.
Now 27, Kini has been racing for quite some time and has successfully managed to continue pursuing his passion. “I do not drink or party since I am serious about racing. I plan to continue racing till I am fit. I am 10 years older than others on the grid. Racing keeps me motivated to stay fit and helps me in flying,” said the Bengaluru native, who is now based out of Chennai.
Kini has won the LGB Formula 4, Formula Swift and Karting National titles in his career. The LGB Formula 4 title last year gave Kini a free entry for the Euro JK 16 championship that features faster, modern cars with BMW engines. “It is tough this year because the cars are like Formula 3 cars. To drive those is not easy. One needs to be totally dedicated. Those who are doing it are only racing and not working. The other racers will also probably race in Europe but I am unable to do that due to my work,” he stated.
“My job requires me to work at odd hours. It is difficult to do that level of physical training to be really competitive in the Euro JK 16 cars. I was looking for a top six finish and got a second place.
“I have the pace and am able to get the fastest time. But in the 15-lap race, I am not able to stay consistent after 8-9 laps. I plan to take more leaves and do some serious fitness before the races so that the body does not get a shock all of a sudden,” he explained.
Results (JK Tyre-FMSCI National Racing Championship): Euro JK 16: Race 1: 1 Nayan Chatterjee; 2. Ajay Kini; 3. Ananth Shanmugam.
Race 2: 1. Nayan Chatterjee; 2. Ananth Shanmugam; 3. Dhruv Mohite.
LGB F4: Race 1: 1. Ashwin Sundar; 2. Raghul Rangasamy; 3. Vishnu Prasad.
Race 2: 1. Vishnu Prasad; 2. Raghul Rangasamy; 3. Rohit Khanna.
JK Touring Cars: 1. Ashish Ramasamy; 2. Deepak Chinappa; 3. Rajaram C.