Advait Deodhar is currently working as a yacht charter and sales broker out of London and on the weekends works as a racing instructor at various race circuits in the United Kingdom getting to drive some very swanky cars. He is simultaneously working towards getting funding for his racing. His life goal is to become an official Porsche Racing Driver and become the first Indian to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The biggest challenge with Motorsports is that it is an extremely expensive sport. Advait is looking to raise 2.5 Crores to race next year in England and the Middle-East
Advait is a man with an undying will to succeed. He plans to invest all the money he makes from yacht broking into his true passion, racing!
Advait’s passion for cars started at the very young age of 5. Every time a cool car entered his residential building, he would run down with a little notebook and a camera. He would click a picture of the car and speak to the owner and ask him the specs of the car.
At the age of 13 Advait had his first experience with go-karting. “I had gone karting my family and that’s when I knew I was quick, I was quicker than my entire family and I knew that I had some speed but that was just a fun go-karting experience.” says Advait.
Advait’s passion for cars took him to Torino, Italy after his undergrad to pursue his studies in automobile design. While in Italy he had his first experience with Formula 1 when he and a few friends drove down to the city of Monaco to witness one of the most iconic races, The Monaco Grand Prix. This experience changed his life forever. This is when he knew he had to leave Italy after graduation and come to India and pursue his dream. This was a life changing decision. It meant that he would give up his Italian residence permit and give up the chance of working for one of the top car manufacturers in Italy as a car designer.
While still in Italy, he had been actively building up his network and managed to land a drive with Dark Don Racing in the Indian LGB Formula 4 category, the most affordable class of racing in India and the lowest rung on the Motorsport ladder in the country.
Everything had fallen into place perfectly so far and Deodhar was now ready to see his dream take flight. Characteristically impatient and riding a wave of optimism, Advait was confident he would blitz the competition in his debut year and was even thinking about competing in Europe in 2013. As he candidly admits, he couldn’t have been more wrong.
“I came into the season thinking I’m going to kick ass, I’ll be very honest with you,” Advait says. “I thought I’m going to rule everyone and I got it handed to me. Very frankly, I really got it handed to me and it took me time to get up to pace.”
“It’s not good feeling because you think your entire life has been building up to this moment and when you come there and you’re a few seconds off the pace, you’re not able to beat anyone, you can’t overtake, you can’t do anything, it’s a massive jab to your self-confidence and it was pretty intense for me, I’ll tell you that.”
However, Deodhar worked through the self-doubt to turn his lacklustre early-season form around and by the end of the year, he was taking on the established order, ending the season at the top of the rookie standings.
Deodhar’s strong end of season form carried over into 2013 and he scored five podiums over the course of the year, during which the soon-to-be-24-year-old combined his season in LGB Formula 4 with a campaign in the MRF Formula Ford 1600 series, his first in a proper Formula One-inspired ‘slicks-and-wings’ car in which he was up to speed right away.
He finished the year on a high with some very impressive performances. Advait Deodhar had ‘arrived’ into the world of Motorsport.
‘2014 was a really good year for me’ says Advait. ‘I drove and had success in everything I raced in. I also tested a Formula Masters race car in China, going quicker than the previous years champion. However, a lack of funding did not permit me to enter the championship and I had to continue in India and aim for the title.’
Advait finished the year on a high, with 14 podiums in the 14 races he competed in!
He finished runner up in the MRF 1600 National Championship. He was in contention for the title till the final round but had to miss it as he was diagnosed with ‘dengue fever’. This resulted in him missing three races and thus valuable points but due to a stellar performance and accumulating valuable points through the season, he was still classified as 2nd overall. He also won a race in the Toyota Etios Cup on his debut, in a car he had never driven before!
What is the one piece of advise you would like to give to young people?
“Never give up on something you truly want. You will hit roadblocks along with way but you have to keep at it and find a way around them. Life does not owe you anything and it will test you every now and then. Persistence, passion, hard work and dedication is key.”