Our March #MCM Is A Race Car Driver, Sailor & Heartthrob
While we, the #HauteSquad, love all things girlie and are champions for strong, inspiring women, we also love our boys. And to show them some of this love, we introduce our new series #MCM — Man Crush of the Month. Every month, we’ll feature a man who’s doing something cool and making us proud — and looking good while doing it. Stay tuned for some serious *heart-eyed emojis*.
If you meet someone who says they want to become a race car driver when they grow up, you’d probably laugh it off, thinking they’re joking; it’s cute. But Advait Deodhar dared to dream, and successfully converted his childhood fantasy into reality.
Catching up with this 26-year-old, all the way from London, we got an insight into what actually goes behind those wheels.
1. When did you start racing and how did you turn it into a career choice?
I’ve been crazy about cars since I was 5 year old, but only started taking it seriously around 2010. Once I graduated in 2012, I worked intensively towards it. In fact, I have a collection of over 600 car collectables that I’ve been hoarding since then. Something as simple and fun as go-karting gave me immense joy, so my parent and I knew from the very beginning that this is what I wanted to do with my life.
2. What were you doing before you were driving around circuits?
I was studying in Jai Hind college before I went to Italy to study automotive design, and there I really grew as a person. Way before that, I was part of the Bombay sailing club, so sailing is something that I enjoyed doing, as well.
3. Tell us more.
We stayed in Colaba and the sailing club was nearby, so it was something I took up as a hobby when I was 8 years old. Non-conventional sports have always fascinated me and sailing was one of them.
4. How many races have you participated in, and which one stands out for you?
Over the last 5 years, I have been a part of many championships, but the one that stays close to my heart is my first-ever podium. It was raining heavily in India and it was a tough circuit, but I managed to finish second. There’s been no looking back since.
5. What are the major obstacles you have faced so far?
Having no money! That is really the biggest concern. There are no sponsors and people are not willing to fund this sport, which is when it gets difficult to keep pursuing the dream. Being fit is extremely important and you have to work hard, for sure, but financial hindrances are aplenty.
6. Since it is an expensive sport, how do you sustain it?
By trying to get sponsors on board. I need around Rs 2.5 crores this year for my next race, the British Championship — it’s definitely not a cheap sport. I also work as a yacht charter broker just to invest in what I really want to do.
7. Are you planning to come back to India soon?
Professionally, it doesn’t make sense for me to come back, as everything related to race car championships happens right here in London. I will come back, but not for work.
8. Talking about India, do you think we have a future in racing?
We, as a country, are obsessed with cricket, Bollywood, and the whole notion about superstars. Until racing has a superstar that people recognise, I doubt our society will accept it or give it the respect that it deserves.
9. Any advice for young people like you who want to make it big?
Work super hard and give it your all, seriously. Do not listen to anyone who tries to stop you from doing something that you feel is right, even if it is your parents. There will be hurdles if you choose this profession, but don’t get disheartened.
10. Lastly, what keeps you going?
Every time I sit behind the wheel, I know that this is it. And before you ask me, I have not cried yet after a race. Maybe after I become the world champion, I will, and then I will call and let you know.