On a short holiday from his busy schedule between school and his smoldering hot, ambition to be Malaysia’s next Formula One driver, Akash Neil Nandy spared some moments with www.sports.247.my recently.
QUESTION: How would you describe your achievements so far?
ANSWER: So far the achievements that I have had especially to win Macau and also to win a Le Mans Series race are something that not many people get to do or get the opportunity to do. Some do it later in their career, so for me to do it at a young age gave me confidence.
I think that it is an amazing feeling to have the achievements. In the past year, I have managed to win nine out of twelve races which have been one of the biggest achievements I’ve had throughout my whole career thus far.
Q: Where do you see yourself two years down the road?
A: In the next two years, I would be in GP 2 Series and maybe three to four years knocking on the door of Formula One. That is the plan.
Q: What is your proudest moment so far?
A: Winning the 60th Macau Grand Prix. To do well against experienced drivers really gives me confidence.
Q: Your favourite track?
A: Sepang because it has a really nice flow to it. A lot of high speed and medium speed corners which I really like. Second best is Spa in Belgium which is quite similar to Sepang with the undulations and corners.
Q: What is the most difficult thing about racing?
A: Besides having to juggle between school and racing at the same time, I think that as a driver not being supported by sponsors, is the hardest thing. Racing is such an expensive sport and I have been relying on my family for the last few years. And that is quite a big challenge. Getting more support from my own country will be the target.
Q: What will be your next race?
A: Might be entering an F3 race in Germany in September. Just to give me a feel of the difference competitive experience.
Q: What’s the road map towards F1 for you?
A: Now that there is no longer F2, the plan is for me to take part in the FIA F3 races in Europe which is more competitive and have more drivers compared to what I did this year.
Q: Testing possibilities?
A: Yes, we are speaking to an English team at the moment. So we will see what happens.
Q: Are you into just single-seater races or do you dabble in other disciplines as well?
A: I’m into GT racing as well as Le Mans. I keep in touch with everything else but at the moment, my focus is on the single-seaters. Maybe once I achieved my objective in the single-seater then will I look at the other disciplines.
A: Not competitively. I do ride bikes but mostly on Sundays. I own a Ducati Monster though.
Q: How do you balance between school and racing?
A: It has been relatively, straightforward. Since I started racing at such a young age, I have been forced to mature faster. In a usual week, I just go to university and then train in the afternoon. But I try not to miss too many classes especially on race weekend. I’m already used to it so I don’t find it hard having to do both at the same time.
Q: Why motorsports and not any other sports?
A: The biggest factor would be the influence from my father. He used to race in his younger days. But ever since I drove kart, I just love the feeling. The adrenaline rush when driving a race car. Even driving on the road, I still get that rush as well but obviously I don’t drive that fast.
Q: So, what is your road car?
A: A Nissan Skyline R32
Full Name: Akash Neil Nandy
Date of Birth: 10 January 1997
Languages Spoken: Malay, English, Mandarin
Helmet Colour: Red, White, Grey & Green
Hobbies: Physical Fitness, Football, A small time DJ
Favourite Music: House, EDM
Favourite food & drinks: When I am hungry, all I eat is my favorite food
Favourite films: Days of thunders, Senna
Aims in motorsport: To win all participated championships, and get to F1 as quickly as possible
Favourite driver: Aryton Senna
Favourite road car: Porsche GT3 RS
The best race of his career: Rotax Max Challenge (Round 2) 2010, started last finished first in the wet.
Race History: Single Seater Cars (Selected)
Formula Masters China
Formula Masters China Series (FMCS) is a new Formula series designed to develop young drivers, and adds an exciting new element to the Chinese and Asian Motorsport scene.
The focus of the series is to provide an affordable and equitable stage on which to nurture fledgling talent ensuring skill and not financial advantage dictate success on the race track.
FMCS uses a state-of-the-art Formula car providing both performance and safety. With a Tatuus FA010 Carbon composite monocoque, FIA F3 homologated chassis and a 2.0 Formula engine providing 180 HP, the FMCS race car is both competitive and cost-efficient.
The series is organized by Volkswagen Group China and TopSpeed Limited. FMCS will become an ideal source of new local talent for existing VGC motorsport events.
2013 – Finished 3rd in the Championship
The prestigious 60th Macau Grand Prix
At 16 years old, our Malaysian racing wonder Akash Nandy emerged as one of the youngest drivers to win in a Macau Grand Prix event. Akash’s maiden outing at the Guia Circuit has resulted in an elusive hat trick after grabbing pole position.
2013 – The Toyota Racing SeriesToyota Racing Series
Asia Le Mans Series Round 1 (August 2013)
As the offshoot to the French 24 Hours of LeMans, the Asian Le Mans Series originated from the world’s oldest active sports car held annually since 1923 near the town of Le Mans, France.
The endurance race is an Asian sports car racing endurance series created by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and based in Asia. It is the successor to the defunct Japan Le Mans Challenge which folded in 2007 after its second season. The ACO aims to attract teams and drivers from Asian countries such as China and Japan.
Out of 8 teams, Akash who raced under the KC Motorgroup Ltd (KCMG) along with team mates Gary Thompson and British virtuoso James Winslow.
Having driven for KC Motorgoup LTD in the Formula Masters China Series, the team who has been in partnership with Akash have seen some extraordinary capabilities and talent hence invited him to participate in the prestigious opening round of Asian Le Mans Series.
Being the youngest in history to participate in a Le Mans Series, Akash walked into the history books of the event and Le Mans overall.
Having qualified to start the race from P2, Akash steamed the team in to P1 closing his stint of the race, having said set the fastest lap simultaneously, in a wet race Akash held the position and handed over to Gary Thompson for the final stint, Gary went on to beat Akash’s fastest lap by 1/10 of a second and maintained the position to finalize the race as winners.
Round 1 Inje, Korea- 1st in category
– 1st overall
2012 – Formula Pilota
2012 – JK Racing Asia Series
? JK Racing Asia Series (AFOS) Sepang Round 1 – 4th out of 14
? JK Racing Asia Series (AFOS) Sepang Round 2 – 2nd out of 14
? JK Racing Asia Series (AFOS) Sepang Round 3 – 5th out of 14
? JK Racing Asia Series (AFOS) Sepang Round 4 – 3rd out of 14
2012 – Rotax
2011 – JK Racing Asia Series Formula ONE
At the tender age of 14, Akash finished 5th in the championship in his debut season. For more on the series kindly refer www.jkracingseries.com.
BRP Rotax began their involvement in karting back in the 1980’s when they produced a limited number of high performance 100cc engines for racing purposes. At times Rotax was the dominant force in international karting, for example in the 1988 CIK Karting World Championships 9 out of the top 10 positions went to be drivers on Rotax engines.
Akash has been involved in a number of prestigious Go-Karting races, including the Rotax World Finals where he competed against some of the world’s best ‘karters’.
In 2012, being the year of his ‘O’ Level examinations, he participated in only 3 races it would be good to know while he was still qualified to race in the junior category, Akash opted to compete against the big boys in order to sharpen his race craft.
2011 – Rotax Invitational Race Junior – 1st out of 45 karts
2010 – Rotax Max Challenge/ Asia Max Challenge
Having competed in his first complete Rotax Max Challenge season, Akash won the championship of Rotax Max Challenge Malaysia and also was declared the runner up in Asia Max Challenge Championship. At this point Akash was only 13.
Rotax Max World Finals Italy 2010
Rotax Max World Finals is an event organized by BRP Rotax Europe to gather champions from each region of the world to participate in a final round of racing to declare the Rotax Max World Champion for the respective year.
Having won the Malaysian Rotax Max Challenge Championship, Akash was invited to participate in this prestigious event representing Malaysia, competing against the worlds best at La Conca, Italy.
Akash finished an outstanding 9th in the out of 78 worlds best karters.
2010 – Yamaha SL Cup
Akash wont both the Rotax and Yamaha Championships for 2010 despite being his 2nd year competitive karting.
2009 – (Rookie year in karting)
Rotax Max Challenge Junior Championship – Finished 14th in the championship out of the 23 karts average.
At 12, Akash competed in the Yamaha SL Cup Championship and finished in a strong 6th place having competed for first time in a full fledge championship event.