Home / Features / Interview – Rayomand Banajee – ‘We are committed to creating champions for India’

 

On a busy race weekend at the MMRT, ace driver, Rayomand Banajee, makes some time to answer a few questions

Interviewed by: Joshua Varghese

Photography: Volkswagen Motorsport

Car India: For how long have you been associated with Volkswagen Motorsport now?

Rayomand Banajee: I am fortunate to have been associated with VW Motorsport since its inception; that is, right from the first time their car was tested in India. So, this is the 10th year now.

You did a spot of drag-racing in the previous season for VW. Will we see you do that this year as well?

I do not think so. That was done mainly because VW wanted to support the championship by putting in a few more entries. There are no plans right now. Unless someone comes and says, ‘Here is a car, go drag-racing,’ there are no other plans.

Apart from your current role at VW, what else do you have planned for the future?

Motor sport is everything we do and I want to really look at growing grassroots level motor sport in the country. That is something that is vital if the sport has to grow. We run the Indi-Karting national series which is the largest karting series in the country right now. That has been going quite well and we just need to try and get a few more sponsors for that. Additionally, we are always committed to creating champions for India and that is where we have been quite successful over the years. Motor sport is something that is a passion for us and we also conduct experience events for other manufacturers.

What do you think is the best roadmap for an Indian kid to gain entry into international racing?

It is an expensive sport. The earlier you realize that, the better it is. Once you realize how much you can spend over a period of years, the better you can plan your career. Let us say, budget is not an issue. Then karting is the first step. That is where the bulk of driving needs to happen. Two-stroke is something which is necessary whether in India or abroad. The kid needs to race abroad as much as possible because that is where you get good tracks and better competition. You get high levels of grip which you do not get in India.

I think saloon cars is something which a lot more kids need to look at more seriously. It is a more realistic approach to a career in racing internationally and far more affordable than Formula racing. Today almost every Indian who has raced internationally has made the switch to saloon or GT cars. If the switch had happened early on in their career, it might have resulted in better success later on. The best example of that is Aditya Patel. He made the switch pretty early. He has been successful at what he did internationally. For karting, if the kid starts off at eight or nine, it is perfect and at 15 they can get into cars.

Currently, there is nothing better than the Ameo Cup. A similar championship in Europe was costing a driver in the region of about €70,000 (approximately Rs 56 lakh). Over here, it is more accessible to our drivers. So, this would be the best step that a driver could take. After this, they have to race abroad if they really want to go up the ladder and Asia has a good amount of saloon car racing. So, something in South-east Asia would be the best bet, followed by some racing in Europe as well.

 

About the author: Joshua Varghese

 

 

Recent posts in Features

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

     


3 − two =

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

Current day month ye@r *