Advait Deodhar has been racing in the European NASCAR series since the 2018 season – In 2021, the Indian scored his first win – He believes the many team changes early in his career slowed him down
Advait Deodhar made his NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) debut in 2018 and has been an integral part of the EuroNASCAR 2 championship field ever since. The Indian celebrated his first victory with CAAL Racing at Brands Hatch in the 2021 season and, at the age of 31, has become a genuine title contender. But could he possibly have been so successful earlier?
“It’s been a long journey and I’ve learned more about the car, the championship and tire management,” the Mumbai native told ‘Leadlap.net’. The race driver, who lives in the United Kingdom, believes he was slowed in his development because he changed teams several times early in his EuroNASCAR career.
Deodhar’s career stages
A look at the various stages of his career reveals that the Indian has lacked consistency: he has competed in 28 for three teams so far. Deodhar has contested eight races for DF1 Racing from Austria. His best result with the Tigers was a fifth-place finish in Valencia in 2019, after which Deodhar moved to Speedhouse from Lucas Lasserre. He finished fifth and ninth in the two races at Franciacorta.
His new home is the championship team CAAL Racing from Italy. The 31-year-old has been driving for Luca Canneori’s racing team since 2019 and has since then established himself in the top 10. Deodhar has made it into the top 10 seven times so far with CAAL Racing and is fifth in the 2021 EuroNASCAR 2 Championship ahead of the finale in Italy, 50 points behind Tobias Dauenhauer. Mathematically, Deodhar still has a chance of winning the title.
Team changes have made the learning process more difficult
To become a title contender, Deodhar has come a long way and he therefore also takes a critical look at his past: “It would have been much easier to stay with one team right from the beginning. It would be nice to have some consistency, but we live and learn.” The Indian has found that consistency at CAAL Racing, which was immediately rewarded with a victory at his home track at Brands Hatch.
“It was a fantastic race weekend as I took my first pole position and my first win at Brands Hatch,” Deodhar continued. “I really like the track.” In addition to the many team changes, Deodhar had to miss the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, which also slowed his development. However, the 2021 season seems to be the breakthrough for the 31-year-old.
Forced break in 2020
But what did Deodhar do to keep fit during his break from racing? About his secret, he said: “Like all the other drivers, I spent a lot of time in the simulator during the pandemic. So it felt good to come back after a year off.” It seems to have worked, as Deodhar has returned to the European NASCAR series stronger than ever.
“Mathematically, there’s still a chance for the championship win, even though the gap is quite big, but never say never,” Deodhar said of his title chances at the EuroNASCAR finale at Autodromo di Vallelunga in Italy on October 30-31. “And there are two double points races in Italy.”
Deodhar on his future
Late in the year, Deodhar already thinks about his goals and future. “I want to win the championship!” he said with a fighting spirit. To do so, Deodhar would not only have to beat the two high-flyers of the 2021 season, Dauenhauer and Martin Doubek, but would also have to hope for some help. Without retirements by the two Hendriks drivers, it will be difficult for Deodhar to close the gap to in just two races.
In the 2022 season, Deodhar would like to compete with the elite of the European NASCAR scene and move up to the EuroNASCAR PRO championship, where big names like Jacques Villeneuve, Loris Hezemans, Alon Day, Marc Goossens, Lasserre and Vittorio Ghirelli compete. “No matter how this year turns out, I’m really looking forward to moving up,” said the CAAL driver. There are no exact plans for the 2022 season yet.