Pakistani-origin racer aims for historic US motorsport championship victory

Buraq Shabbir

KARACHI: A British-Pakistani racer, Enaam Ahmed, who finished fourth in the Indy NXT Alabama Grand Prix in the United States last week, has stated his goal of becoming the first-ever person of Pakistani origin to win a major motorsport racing championship in the US.

Ahmed, who was born to Pakistani parents in London, began racing on Go-Kart tracks at the age of eight. His passion for racing grew over time, helping him become the British Formula Champion at the age of 12, as well as a European and World Champion at the age of 14.

At 17, he became a British Formula 3 (GB 3) champion and is currently participating in the Firestone Indy NXT Series, an American developmental automobile racing series sanctioned by IndyCar, the highest class of regional North American open-wheel single-seater formula racing cars, according to its website.

Indy NXT features a lineup of drivers who are scheduled to participate in a series of races until September this year. The final score, which is an aggregation of their performance in each race, will determine the winner of the said championship.

In the first championship race, Ahmed’s car crashed, leaving him injured, because of which he couldn’t finish the race or get any points. However, he got back into the championship fight with the recent Indy NXT Grand Prix of Alabama, which he initially struggled to win before finding himself among the top five.

“Finishing in the top 5 gives you a lot of points,” he told Arab News over the phone on Friday. “Now, I am back in the championship fight, and the goal is to win the championship this year and become the first-ever Pakistani to win the major motorsport racing championship, especially in the United States.”

Ahmed said that despite being a British citizen, he also represented Pakistan as he was “proud” of his heritage.

“There is no facility in Pakistan for motorsports,” he continued. “There is no sponsorship in Pakistan, but it doesn’t bother me. I am not happy until I am winning. I am a Pakistani, and we are the best. So, we deserve to win.”

He said that people in the US were “surprised” to see his performance.

“People in America are very impressed and surprised with the job my team and I have been able to do. We are underdogs and we are beating the big boys. Just like how Pakistan is. We are a small country but very powerful.”

Explaining his racing strategy, he said: “I knew I need to come forward in the race, and I just picked all the American drivers off. All the cars, one by one. I chose the best time to overtake them and I capitalized on their mistakes and put a lot of pressure on them.”

Ahmed currently stands at number 10 with 43 points out of the 14 drivers competing for the title.

He said he was preparing for the next race, the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, which is scheduled to take place on May 13 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Courtesy: arabnews