In a fast paced life where every thing appears racing towards infinity, this passionate car enthusiast has set his eyes clearly on track where he races his vehicle like an artist paints his creation. Meet Anshul Shah who is competing for this year’s Volkswagen Polo R Cup title along with 19 other drivers
In an exclusive tête-à-tête with Nagpur Today, Anshul Shah shared his experiences and his passion for racing and his dreams of racing Formula 1 racing someday.
Anshul Shah is a passionate young man for whom racing is not only exhilarating but life. He lives and dreams only of racing. With 19 drivers competing for this year’s title for Volkswagen Polo R Cup, Anshul Shah was one of them. Initially it began from pre-season testing. So that the drivers get familiar with Volkswagen Polo Race cars, for 2014 season at Kari Motor Speed way at Coimbatore.
He has been following motor-sports right from his childhood. This later on graduated to Formula 1 racing tourneys. His passion gets an impetus whenever, he visits any car-showroom. He claimed that he used to check-out new cars and their power and other special engineering features.
His desire became passion soon with obsessive force. Participation in Go-Carting events held in the city and in Bangalore became concomitant compulsion. Getting the feel of the racing circuit, he moved on to accomplish his vision to go on to racing bigger, more powerful racing cars. To achieve that dream he needed to train himself in the skills and finer aspects of maneuver and speed control which is the essential ingredient of racing. He got trained in the Meco Racing School. Just as any other participant, Anshul too had to undergo tough and rigorous selection process. Of the 1200 applicants, 40 were said to be shortlisted. 40 became 13 when they were shortlisted. Anshul, show-casing his prowess and skill finished third to go one to become the only Vidarbhite racer to make a niche for himself in the foray. In his debut season, he stood 5th in the overall (rookie category). After reaching the national-level competition, he will be targeting international races and will represent India by the end of this year.
The testing track…
This year he has qualified to become a professional racer and will be participating in the 2014 Volkswagen Polo R Cup. Last month, he finished his first round. This was the Pre-Testing and Car Allotment event. This session lasts for two days. This is also a practice session and when the participant is allotted a car. This car will be with him till he finishes the race. Along with the car, technicians, mechanics and 6 spare tyres are also allotted to him. He said that he has been allotted a German made powerful car.
Weight is a strict norm
While speaking of the cars, he said that the cars are not Road-Legal Cars. He added that, every-minute detail is calculated, monitored and rectified if wrong. He claimed that the maximum weight that a participant can be is 75 kgs. If less, then the deficit weight is added. Anshul is only 60 kgs, so another 15 kilograms will be added somewhere to maintain the weight deficit. There is a camera which is affixed outside the car. Fixing of camera outside the car is optional.
Schumar’s recovery is heartening
While speaking of Michael Schumacher’s coming out of Coma, he said that it is really a good news. He said that he is a legend and has inspired me. However Ayrton Senna da Silva, the Brazilian racing driver who won three Formula One world championships is my hero. He is the one who really inspired me. Unfortunately, he is no more.
It’s 50° inside car cabin
While expounding on the benefits of keeping fit he said that one should regulate one’s excercises, food and liquid intake. This also helps one to stay focused. He said that temperature inside the car cabin is 50° Celcius. With the extreme tension, maintaining balance, adhering to all rules and regulations yet mainatain a focus is a herculean feat. He said that a racer sweats 1-2 kgs per race. In the formula races, the racers sweat 3-5 kgs of sweat. He said that before a race, a racer has to imbibe 1.5 liters of water, cause with sweating so much, often the racer may face dehydration.
Hurdles Indian racers face
While speaking about Indian racers he said that they face a lot of difficulties. The government does not approve nor encourages the racers by providing any infrastructure or other facilities. Financial constraints and support are the main problems faced by Indian racers. He said that a racer or participant requires Rs 7.86 lakhs to even enroll or participate in the race. He said that one requires Rs 120 Crores to participate in Formula 1 race.
On a personal front
Anshul Shah is a student of St Fransisco De Sales (SFS). He had taken admission in Ramdeobaba College of Engineering to do Bachelor of Engineering (BE) Civil, however, after one year of studies, he realized that this will not help in pursuing his career. He is since doing his Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from Amity University at New Delhi. He claims that his life is divided into three spheres, i.e Work (Working as one of the Directors in Artifacts), Study (Doing BBA) and lastly but most importantly “Racing”.
Anshul, while being poetic about his passion for racing, said “Track is my Canvas, Car is my Brush and I am the Artist!
Message to youngsters : speed thrills but kills
Every youngster should give his or her 100 % in whatever they do. Whether it is playing sports, studies or entertainment, one should be completely committed and should work hard in becoming the best. While explaning the dangers of speed, he said that speed thrills but kills. He said that if the youngsters want to enjoy speed, let them try racing on the tracks and not in the city roads, where children, aged and people are moving about. He added that in their pursuit to attain thrill, they may endanger the lives of themselves as well as others.