YOUNG XPERT / Sports

Chetan Surineni

Chetan Surineni from Indus International School is professional race car driver in the Volkswagen Ameo Cup and JK Tyre Novice Cup Formula 1300.

All children have potential and talents of one sort or another, though they don’t always know it themselves. Often, talents need openings to blossom. If there isn’t an opportunity for a skill to flourish, it may remain suppressed throughout a child’s malleable years, after which it may be too late to develop it to its full potential. A child might be the first in the family to have a flair for Javelin throw, or the kid might have a unique ability to make people laugh. Talent can appear in any form. It needs drawing out in order to shine. It requires patience and constant consistency.

One such kid who made his name in a very different field of car racing at a young age of 16 is Chetan Surineni from Indus International School. He is professional race car driver in the Volkswagen Ameo Cup and JK Tyre Novice Cup Formula 1300.

As every young kid, Chetan started racing online and that is when his interest beamed. His experience of the intense and probably addictive state of mind became a powerful force in his life. It’s been his passion since 2011 and he never turned back. At first, he started with karting. For a few months, karting helped him gain confidence for racing in real life. Karting also made him a better driver. Karting helped Chetan get his basics right - it really was the best way to learn racing lines, and no one can be much of a racecar driver if they don't get their lines right. Karting also gave him some idea about the level of fitness he needed to become a racer – as it was punishing on the muscles and on the ribs and bones.

In many nations, racers usually graduate from two-stroke karting to a wings and slicks racecar. Although in India, most of all graduates from karting like to try their hands at single-seaters before moving onto a bigger car. But, the interested kids can also choose to graduate from karting straight into proper wings and slicks car. Praise and encouragement go a long way to developing a kid’s recognized talents. Talent is only worth pursuing if it can also be enjoyed. Chetan is pursuing International Baccalaureate, which is a programme of education for 16-19-year-old students along with commerce but racing is his passion. He is being trained by his idol, Fernando Alonso.

In real life, this is Chetan’s first year into racing. In his first race in Volkswagen Ameo Cup he qualified 17th and finished 12th while in his first race In formula 1300, he started 27th and finished the race at 6th position. At an age where kids are busy scrolling on the phone and hanging out with friends, Chetan already has made a name for himself. He considers his biggest achievement by far is getting qualified 7th out of 200 people who had come for the selections from around the world in the Volkswagen Ameo Cup, which was a selection that was organized to find the best of the talents in India and to promote them.

Children can’t recognize their talent, although if encouraged they will pursue them consciously. Parents play a very important role in such a situation. Chetan considers himself fortunate as his parents not only showed interest in his particular field of passion but also helped with his skill enhancement. Their patience was rewarded as his talent matured. Focusing on strengths is just as important as acknowledging weaknesses. Encouraging the kid to explore strengths and passions along with taking healthy risks can be a real self-esteem booster.

Chetan’s achievement is inspiring and commendable. He will be an inspiration to the young talent as the craze of motorsports in India is gaining momentum. He is moving into MRF Formula 1600 and JK Tyre Formula 4 LGB next year where the national champions and the best of the best race in India.

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