Racer’s edge | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 02, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 02, 2019

Racer’s edge

Interviewed: Aiman Sadat, 19 year old Champion of the VW Ameo Cup Junior category

Give us a background of your achievements in the VW Ameo Cup.

The Volkswagen Ameo Cup was my first racing competition. I came 2nd in drivers selection held in Pune, India and was racing in the Junior category of the racing series (the Senior and Junior categories take place together). In race two of the round, I finished second and got my first podium alongside fellow Bangladeshi Avik Anwar, who placed first. It was the first one-two podium finish for Bangladeshis at a major international racing series. In race two of round three in Chennai, I got another second place podium finish and was leading the Junior Championship all the way. I was consistent across all four rounds of the Junior Championship and became the Junior Champion of Volkswagen Ameo Cup 2019. I was also the youngest Champion in the history of Volkswagen Motorsports.

What started your passion for motorsport?

My dad always had a dream to race and represent the country but due to certain circumstances he never got the chance to do it. Since 2016, I have been following in the footsteps of my elder brother and former Volkswagen Ameo Cup Junio Runner-up, Affan Sadat. Besides that I am an enthusiast who loves to cruise, do track days, etc.

How did you get into the Ameo Cup? What’s involved in a young driver trying to get into an international motor-sport event?

I always had a dream to race in that series (following my brother), but my mother wasn’t convinced at first. I had to maintain my studies and impress sponsors because without them, racing would be a huge cost for my father. I had to go Pune for driver selection—15 drivers were selected from 300 applicants. We had to do physical training as well as learn and understand the basics of racing such as flags, race start procedures, safety car procedures and more. We were given go-karts and asked to set lap times in groups. I was the second fastest among those applicants and I was selected right away.

How do you prepare for a race?

My brother was key in preparing before every race—he examined my practice runs on the racing simulator and explained to me what I was doing wrong. I had to memorise and revise the racing (theoretical and practical) rules and regulations every day. My brother used to quiz me on everything and both of us had to take three hours off every day for practice and revision. To be physically strong I had to cycle every day and play football. It’s mandatory to remain fit because there is no air-conditioning in these racecars and there are chances of dehydration.

What’s next for Aiman Sadat?

Next target is to compete in the Indian Touring Car Championship and Formula LGB 1600. Avik Anwar, my brother Affan and myself—we want motorsport to be as popular as cricket and we want to continue bringing racing success for our country. We need proper support from the government—FIA approved race-tracks and sponsorships can develop this sport faster than any one of us can individually.

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