Tuesday January 1, 2013
Rahul’s parents go all out to see their only child fulfill his dream
By LIM TEIK HUAT
PETALING JAYA: One always look to better things in store at the start of a new year.
And it is no difference for doting parents Rajinder Mayer and Mahinder Kaur. They only have one thing on their minds as they usher in the new year – that their only child Rahul Mayer Raj can pursue his dream to race single seater cars at the highest level.
Despite the lack of sponsorship, 16-year-old Rahul is flying high in his rookie season in the Formula Gulf 1000 series in United Arab Emirates, having claimed podium finishes in four out of the six races so far.
The race may still be new to Malaysians but it is a popular series in the Middle East and one of the stops is the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, which hosts the Formula 1 event.
Two second placings and two more third placings have enabled Rahul to move to third in the overall standings at the half-way stage of the championship and he has his parents to thank for.
His parents raised the RM350,000 required to drive in the series for one season from their own pockets and that’s not taking into account the flight tickets and accommodations.
And it is his parents who has to pay for the repairs in the event of breakdown or if Rahul crashes the car.
But Rajinder, whose hobby is restoring classic car, has never regretted the move.
“We have been supporting him since he began go-karting at the age of 10 in the cadet class.
“We, as parents, will do all we can to make our child’s dreams become reality.
“It was natural for him to develop a liking for cars as I love to work on classic cars in my spare time. He also knew how to use a spanner when he was very small. I do not like speed but my son does.
“I believe he has the potential to go all the way. He has already collected more than 50 trophies since he started racing.
“We want to support him but it is costly and we hope to get sponsors to help him in future after the Formula Gulf 1000 season finishes in March.
“He has indicated he wants to do the Formula 4 championship in United Kingdom next year and it is the natural progression for his racing career if he is serious about taking it to another level.
“After that, there is the Formula 3 but we need help from sponsors to realise this dream,” said Rajinder.
Rahul said he owe it to his parents for believing and supporting his decision to move on to the next step of his racing career.
“I started at 10 in go-kart racing and I felt it was time for me to move on. The Formula Gulf is a good learning ground for single-seater racing.
“My parents have never said no to what I want to do and I try to make full use of the opportunities I am given.
“But at the same time, it is also a costly thing and I take great care not to make silly mistakes as I know my dad will have to fork out the money if I do.”
“It is also tough as I am learning as the championship progresses but I believe I will be in a position to fight for a race win soon,” said Rahul, who started karting in the senior category when he was just 13.
Veteran race steward Paul David, who was the clerk of course for the first Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Sepang in 1999, said Rahul has good race craft.