In Conversation with Petrolhead Racer Aadi

Aadi Karande from Bangalore is progressing up the ranks in the Indian Karting scene. He has already raced for Erda’s Racing and now, Italian team Birel Art, who has helped develop World Class drivers such as Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas, has offered him a place in their team.

We converse with this 10 year old sensation…

S: How did you get into karting, what was the beginning?
For me, right from my child hood, I have been awed with cars, racing and speed. I went to my first live race, a Polo cup, when I was just 2 years old.

Mercedes Benz invited me for a ride in AMG when I was 5. I suppose they did so because they got to know that I had hatched a plan to break into their show room and exchange the car in middle of night! I loved the ride, and found out that I would have to wait until I am 18 before I could drive the car;  I just could not wait for 13 more years!

Fortunately, I got to know about Karting and the prospect of driving sooner attracted me. When I was only 8 years old, I started with a 4 stroke kart and underwent coaching for 6 months. On the very first day, my coach asked me to get into the kart and just drive with no instructions. After doing 6-8 laps, he said he was impressed and wanted me to undergo serious coaching.

Before that, let me tell you how crazy I was as a kid, I learnt alphabets through car logos, H for Hyundai, T for Tata, etc. 🙂

S: Haha! All of us petrolheads have the same vocabulary!
I started writing letters where H was slanted because of Hyundai logo, A didn’t have horizontal line because TATA doesn’t have it.

At age of 3, I sneaked my mom’s car keys, got into the car and started it. Luckily there were no damages, but my parents got scared.

S: Petrolhead since birth eh?

Racer Aadi Rotax Karting

S: Tell me about your racing career so far?
I did my last racing season with Erda’s Racing, I was training while I was also getting exposure to the races. My dad told me to treat the season as a warm up season where I just had to focus on learning as much as I could.

With consistent progress with every race, Italian team Birel Art offered me a place in their team. Birel Art has teams at international level all the way up to Formula racing (single seaters). It has produced most of the marquee racers these days including Lewis (Hamilton)!

The training started all over again under very good coaches from Birel Art. The pre-season training was intense this time around and I worked harder than ever. It definitely has paid off; I bagged 3 podiums from 4 races and missed out on one by a very small margin!

Racer Aadi Rotax Karting Birel Art

S: Better results will definitely follow! So Aadi, what according to you makes racing better than any other sport?
According to me, racing has all the speed and thrill that I love and that makes it better than any other sport.

S: Who is your hero; a driver that you specifically admire?
A: Lewis Hamilton! I have read his biography and autobiography. I wish I could respect my fans in the same way he does.

His driving is aggressive and his late braking technique is something I really admire.

S: His late braking is genuinely remarkable. Is there anything about his attitude and mindset that you like?
Lewis and I share the same mindset: We want to win!

S: So when you race, what is the feeling that you experience?
The best feeling is when I overtake other drivers and have a clean race.

S: Moving on, who is your favourite racing coach and why?
I have been working with Marco and Preetham at Birel Art. They are extremely dedicated, fun loving and also pretty strict at the same time; they have helped me a lot with my racing!

Racer Aadi Rotax Karting Birel Art

S: Till today, who is the toughest opponent you have raced against?
I am very good friends with all the racers off track and my competitors on track. My team mate Ruhaan (Alva) is the toughest opponent I have faced; he is a very good driver.

S: Do you have a pre-race routine; something that you always do, for example listen to music before you go out to race?
Occasionally yes, Lewis (Hamilton) does it too! It helps me focus and keep my cool.  Generally, I listen to my favourite band; One Direction!

Apart from that, just before each race, I close my eyes for a few seconds, pray, and make sure my mind is focused on the race.

Racer Aadi Rotax Karting Birel Art

S: Do you have a nickname?
  ‘Racer Aadi’

S: Okay Racer Aadi, what is the next step in your racing career?
Winning National Championships in India and then aiming higher and competing for championships abroad! The ultimate aim is to race in Formula One, my favourite racing series!

S: Tell me the effect that racing has on your life?
My life revolves around racing, it’s the most important thing.

At home, I am usually busy building new cars and trucks with my Lego kits. I keep designing new cars, aerodynamic models with softwares, old toy cars, and Lego.

Let me tell you a secret. We were moving from Pune to Bangalore three years ago. I was asking my dad about the need to move to a new place. He told me that Bangalore has a Lamborghini showroom and I was convinced about the move immediately.

S: I’m shifting to wherever McLaren opens their showroom in India!
Aha! You’re going to have a good time!

Racer Aadi has high aspirations and high octane potential to reach the highest levels.

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About the author

Soumil Arora

14 year old motorsport fanatic, blogger and host. A foodie who loves to Play Football, Travel, Read and Race!
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