Nikhil P Kashyap

He is one among few whose heart beats only for the rumble of the motor under the hood. Nikhil P Kashyap, lost his soul to motor sport the day he sat in a kart at the “Patel’s Inn” go-Karting track, he has never looked back in his life. 

“I started karting when I was 7. My dad took me to a go-karting track. I liked it from the very first day and in a short span of time, I got addicted to it. Thereafter, every weekend, I’d force my dad to take me to the race track”, says the racing champion. 

As the youngster completed his rounds without any major errors and managed a professional finish, the trainer told his father that professional training would help the lad hone his talent. Nikhil says, “The trainer felt I had some natural talent that could be tapped by professional training.”

Record, they say speak for themselves and Nikhil’s stand testimony to his single-minded dedication to the sport. Today, this mechanical engineering student of Jain (Deemed-to-be University) has created many records at the go-karting tracks. He emerged as winner in the junior’s category at the Rotax Max Karting Challenge finale held at Kolhapur in 2009. Having had podium finishes from 2002 to 2010 has been the highlight for Nikhil who took center stage at Hyderabad. The top-class karting driver has also topped the scoreboard by recording the fastest lap time at the Red Bull Kart Fight 2011.

20-year-old Nikhil Kashyap hails from the school of thought that believes in, “First learn, and then teach.” He has not even started his professional career and yet he has more than 11 years of racing experience behind him. Nikhil now coaches young kids who are willing to step in to his shoes and take up racing as more than just a passing hobby. “Each individual has a different potential. It’s not just about giving them a chance to go out in their karts and get going. At first, we make them sit in a classroom, and we explain turning, braking, dynamics of the kart and the concept of racing. That’s how we go about it. We make sure that kids learn properly and are aware about all aspects of racing. In racing, you have to start pretty early, from the ages of 6-9; like I did. Hence, as talented as they may be, they’re still in their naughty phase. We give them time to understand what’s happening (with respect to the whole concept of racing). It doesn’t make sense to just make them pay money for ‘x’ number of laps on the kart and let them drive.”

A Formula One driver in the making, Bangaloreans can aspire to see him speeding on the straights of the Buddh International Circuit or cornering aggressively on the streets of Monte Carlo one day.

Kavitha Somashekar