Akhil Rabindra is setting the racing tracks on fire in India and at international events
Drive, determination and dedication, are the three attributes which sets out Akhil Rabindra, an 18 –year- old Bangalore College student , as one the youngest and brightest racing prospects, with a eye for Formula 1 glory . The affable lad has just returned from China, after two rounds of Formula China Masters Series (FCMS) on a positive note after representing the country and Meco Sports, run by the noted racing guru from Hyderabad, Akbar Ebrahim.
The Formula China Masters Series is a new Formula Series, designed to develop young drivers and adds an element of excitement to Asian motorsports scene. The focus of the series s to provide an affordable and equitable stage for the young talent.
A set of six rounds mark the series. It began with races in Zhuhai , held from May 8 to 11 and was followed by the second round at Shanghai International Circuit from May.23 to 25. Round three will be in Inje, Korea (July 18 to 20 ), round four in Sepang (Kuala Lumpur) and the races return to China, with Round 5 in Zuhai again (September 18 to 20 ) and Shanghai (October 17 to 19 ).
“It has been a good learning experience in the two rounds in Zhuhai and Shanghai. I finished eighth in the first and 14th in the second, which was marred by an on-the-track incident. I raced on F1 tracks. The cars were stock Formula Three vehicles, with engines being 40 bhp lower than a normal Formula Three engines. The grid comprised 19 cars with drivers from China and other regions of the world. It was quite challenging to race on wet weekends. I hope to finish among top five in the series,” says Akhil .
The next level for Akhil is Formula 3. “A podium finish in Masters Series in China, will give a big fillip in terms of confidence.” It has been a smooth transition for Akhil from Karting to Formula racing. “I loved speed and as a 14-year- old made up my mind that my place is the racing track.”
He began his career in 2010 and made his mark on Karting circuit. “Karting gives you good fundamentals and moulds you to be a good racing driver. It is easier to slip into higher level, if you have a good karting experience.” says Akhil. He moved on to single-seat racing in 2012. In 2013, JK Tyre gave him a scholarship to race in the Formula FB02.
He also participated in the Toyota Etios Racing (TRD) in 2013 in India and Sri Lanka and for the Toyota Vios Cup in Thailand.
His sustained efforts and consistent success paid off in 2013 and he was nominated by the FMSCI to represent India at the Asia-Pacific selection for the prestigious FIA – Young Drivers’ Excellence Academy.
The selection was held in Australia where the 10 best drivers from the region competed for top honours. After a gruelling process, Akhil emerged the winner to represent the Asia-Pacific Region. The other regions were America, Africa, Europe and Middle East. Akhil emerged as one of the top five drivers in the world. The fully funded FIA academy programme scheduled five workshops across Europe for the selected drivers: Edinburgh, Scotland; Chamonix, France; Teesdorf, Austria; Melk, Austria and Paul Ricard, France.
The selection to the elite training programme has done a world of good for Akhil. “I train with five best young talent from other regions. After the completion of the course, I will be branded the ambassador for road and track safety in Asia-Pacific Region by the FIA.” Each of the workshops that Akhil attended were unique and focused on select topics such as fitness, nutrition and hydration, communication and team work and track safety.
Back home, Akhil did well in the recently-concluded round 1 of JK Racing India Series 2014 in Coimbatore. He displayed top quality racing to consistently claim podium finishes in all three races in round 1. The Championship is a four round series with three races in each round. The next round will be held in Coimbatore and the last two rounds are scheduled in Delhi.
Akhil targets F1 as the ultimate goal. “That’s the dream of every driver in motorsport. It requires a high degree of skill, endurance and razor-sharp reflexes and of course, there is also cost factor and you certainly need a big ticket sponsor to push you ahead. A lot of hard work is involved and I am game for it.”