Mumbai racer Noorani gears up to race before Vettel, Schumi

Published: 25 October, 2011 07:56 IST | Ashwin Ferro |

... Mumbai racer rahil noorani will scorch the Buddh international circuit on friday

... Mumbai racer rahil noorani will scorch the Buddh International Circuit on Friday

Friday (Oct 28) is one of the biggest days in Mumbai racer Rahil Noorani's life. Hours before the Sebastian Vettels, Michael Schumachers and Lewis Hamiltons of the Formula One world will take to the brand new Buddh International Circuit (BIC) in Friday morning's practice session (10am) for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, Rahil and six others will get the opportunity to zip across the virgin tarmac in a practice session (8:45am) for the Formula BMW (JK Asia Racing Series) race, one of two support races part of the Indian GP weekend. The other race is the MRF Delhi Championship (see schedule box).

Twenty-one-year-old Mumbai racer Rahil Noorani at his Bandra residence
yesterday. The young speed demon is among a select few, who will get
the opportunity to scorch the Buddh International Circuit hours before
the inaugural Indian GP in one of the support races of the event.
Pic/Pradeep Dhiwar

Great opportunity
Rahil is obviously thrilled at the opportunity. "It's amazing to just be part of the whole Indian GP. Of course, I'm thrilled to be able to drive on the same surface as my hero -- Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing, and before him that too," the Bandra resident told MiD DAY yesterday.

Rahil during one of the rounds of the Volkswagen Polo R-Cup this year.
He is the current leader of the championship with one round to go.

Two days prior to practice, as part of the pre-race activities, Rahil and his group of drivers will also get an opportunity to interact with the F1 drivers as the group takes a lap walk together at the BIC on Wednesday.

"It's more of a familiarisation thing for the drivers. I'm not sure if I will be able to interact with the F1 drivers too much, but it will be exciting nevertheless," added Rahil (21), who began racing only a year back, at Chennai-based Meco Motorsport, owned by none other than Akbar Ebrahim, father of one of India's most promising racers Armaan Ebrahim. Under Akbar and thanks to some timely advice from Armaan, Rahil has taken giant strides within a short span.

Quick success
Rahil participated and registered a maiden win in the Formula Rolon Championships, finishing fifth overall.
Thereafter, he earned himself a spot at the Volkswagen Polo R-Cup 2011 and is leading the pack after five rounds with the sixth and final round slated for November 26-27 at BIC. The most promising driver from the lot will get an opportunity to race at the prestigious Scirocco-R Cup in Germany. That's Rahil's immediate goal, and thanks to the inaugural Indian GP, he is hopeful of a turnaround for Indian motorsport that remains a niche sport here.

"There is a lot of racing talent in India but the biggest hurdle is the cost factor. The Indian GP will open foreign doors for Indian drivers. Just as a lot of drivers emerge from Germany as racing is a cult there, the Indian GP will enhance racing careers here. "Local drivers will be able to approach and convince sponsors now that we have an international stage to showcase our skill," explained Rahil.

That's still far-fetched though. For now, Rahil can't wait to rev his machine across the BIC before, if not alongside, his F1 heroes.

Indian GP weekend schedule
Friday, Oct 28
08:45 -- 09:15  JK Racing Asia Series        Practice session 
10:00 -- 11:30  Formula One                   1st practice session 
12:00 -- 12:30  MRF Delhi Championship    Practice session
14:00 - 15:30   Formula One                    2nd practice session

Saturday, Oct 29
09:45 -- 10:15   JK Racing Asia Series        Qualifying session
11:00 -- 12:00   Formula One                   3rd practice session
12:25 -- 12:55   MRF Delhi Championship    First Race
14:00 -- 15:00   Formula One                   Qualifying
15:30 -- 16:00   JK Racing Asia Series        First Race   

Sunday, Oct 30
11:00 -- 11:30   MRF Delhi Championship    Second Race
12:00 -- 12:30   JK Racing Asia Series       Second Race
15:00 -- 17:00   Formula One                   India GP main race

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