After having proved their mettle in quite a few karting challenges, Suriya Varathan Karthikeyan and Shravanthika Lakshmi are now keen to challenge the best in the Karting Slalom Cup at the inaugural FIA Motorsport Games in Rome in November.
They know it’s going to be a huge task but sounded confident of doing well for their country in this competition that features 17 nations.
India and Thailand will represent Asia in the Slalom Cup that will see a mixed pair (boy and girl) tackle an obstacle course using a relay format.
The children taking part are all aged between 14 and 16 years, and they will compete in identical electric-powered karts.
Suriya Varathan is the senior of the two and has better race experience, having finished third in the junior category of the X30 Karting Championships and the Rotax Max National Karting Championships in 2018.
He also went on to win the JK Tyre Formula 1300 Novice Cup the same year. He also finished third in the season opener of the MRF Formula 1300cc race earlier this year.
However, an accident in May in which he suffered multiple fractures on his arm sidelined him for a while. But he has recovered well and is now ready to play his part in Rome.
“The experience is going to be great. There will be lots of drivers from various backgrounds and it will be nice to see who will come out on top,” said Suriya Varathan, a Class XI student of Vivekalaya Prakriya.
He said the electric karts are much more powerful than two-stroke karts. “I have been preparing both mentally and physically for the past one month. The pressure is going to be huge, but I am aiming for a top finish.”
Shravanthika is equally fluent in her driving. A Class X student of C.S. Academy and an accomplished singer, she was scared when she made her motorsports entry in 2017. Today, she is scaring even the big boys with her daredevilry on the track. She learnt from Akbar Ebrahim, a former F3 champion. Her father Shyam Kumar, an experienced racing steward, is also a huge guiding force and so was Sajeev M. Rajan, chairman of the FMSCI Karting Commission.
“I am prepared as well. Fitness can be the key and that’s one reason I am training with fitness guru Ramji Srinivasan. He is going to set my energy levels high. We are also going a day in advance to Rome to get used to the conditions,” said Shravanthika, who finished on top in the Sodi Kart Four-Stroke Junior Open and second in the ladies class of the JK Tyre National Karting Championships in Bengaluru last month.
The list of achievements is long, but don’t be surprised if the duo combines well to spring a surprise or two.
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