Life & Style

Zooming into big league

The wunderkind of go-karting, Yash Aradhya is on a high. The 15-year-old from Bengaluru was recently crowned champion in the FMSCI Rotax Max Go Karting National Championship which has earned him the right to represent India in the on-going World Junior Go Karting championship in Portimão, Portugal. The championship offers Yash exposure to test his skills on the world stage, where 72 young champions from all over the globe vie for top honours.

“I am absolutely excited and working hard to give my best at the world meet and if I win, it would be a dream come true,” says Yash, who apart from contending with stiff competition, has also to factor in the weather and the track. The temperature in Portugal, dips to five degrees centigrade, which is much colder than the mild Bengaluru winter.

“Yes I have to be mindful of that,” Yash says. “I need to get the right start with a good warm-up. I have, however, raced in Europe in the WSK Series before and I am quite confident that I can do well.’’

This year has been a fruitful one for Yash, who made his debut in JK Tyres Formula 4 Series, which is an event for rookies, looking to graduate from go-karting. Yash had several podium finishes. “In go-karting, you get to race in an open vehicle with a125cc engine, while in F4, you drive a closed single seater with 1,300 to 1,600 cc engine with a gear shift. That is a huge difference.” Yash, however, made the transition smoothly and much faster than expected, thanks to his solid background in go-karting. “We wanted to give him as much exposure as possible before he tackled bigger cars in F4, so we made him race as much as possible both in both the JK Tyres and the MRF series,” says his father, Sujith Aradhya, who is an advertising professional. Yash realises the importance of the race in Portugal. “It is an honour to represent the country and a huge responsibility as well.” Besides the skills at the wheel, physical fitness is mandatory to succeed in racing. To achieve that, Yash trained under Ramji Srinivasan, a noted fitness expert based in Chennai who runs the Quantum Leap Programme (QLP) for sportspersons. Ramji was a former trainer with the Indian cricket team and several top-notch race drivers, including Narain Karthikeyan and Armaan Ebrahim train with Ramji before big events.

“Thanks to Ramji, fitness has never been a problem for Yash,” says Sujith. Yash also has a specialist nutrition expert, Rayan Fernando advising him on his diet. The biggest influence on Yash’s career, besides his father Sujith, is the veteran racing trainer, Akbar Ebrahim. He has guided Yash every step of the way. Armaan, his son, also chipped in with technical tips for Yash. Pursuing a sporting passion along with academics has always proved daunting for young sportspersons.

But Yash has been blessed with an understanding bunch of teachers and principal John Zachariah at the Bishop Cotton Boys High School. “I get ample time for practice and for participating in major races,” says Yash.“I have supported Yash and his best is yet to come,” says Sujith, who wishes to see his son race in F1 one day.

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Printable version | Sep 29, 2020 6:42:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/zooming-into-big-league/article20003038.ece

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