As a fascinated eight-year-old, he used to spend hours at the go-karting track in Kolhapur. Krishnaraj Mahadik, now 19, is living his cherished dream today: he recently won his maiden BRDC British Formula 3 (race-2) — a prestigious motor racing championship. The race was held at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in Kent, England. Mahadik is the second Indian to clinch the pole position at Grands Hatch GP, after ace Formula One driver Narain Kartikeyan, who achieved the feat 19 years ago.
“It was very challenging because the championship has drivers competing from all around the globe and the competition is a very close one… when you are leading the race… you come under a lot of pressure. I would like to believe that I handled that very well,” said Mahadik, who is the son of Kolhapur MP Dhananjay Mahadik.
Mahadik said even though there was a gap between his last race and the BRDC British Formula 3, he wasn’t nervous at all. “Confidence played a major role in my success,” he added.
Starting the race-2 from pole position, he led the race during the first half, but had to settle for a well-fought second place, behind Toby Sowery. However, Sowery was disqualified on technical grounds, and Mahadik was elevated to the first position. “It was a very exciting experience and I am very happy to have taken my first win in British F3,” he said.
British F3 happened to him by chance, said Mahadik, explaining that he was busy preparing for the British F3 in 2018 when the team he has signed a deal with – Double R Racing – asked him to participate in the race as one of its drivers was injured. “I was ready because I had been preparing for the past four months… I was undergoing rigorous physical training and was hitting the tracks regularly,” said Mahadik, who has been practicing under the guidance of Double R Racing Team manager Ruport Cook and Jack Clarke.
Mahadik’s love for racing dates back to the time when he was barely eight years old. “My friend’s father owned a go-kart racing track in Kolhapur. That’s where I began racing…,” he said.
In 2012, he participated in the National Go-Karting Championship and won, and this led to an entry in the Rotomax World Grand Finals, held in Portugal, which he won two years in a row. He debuted in motor racing in 2014 in the J K Tyre National Racing Championship.
Mahadik, who is pursuing SYBCom from a college in Kolhapur, has been balancing his passion for racing with his studies. “My college has been quite supportive in terms of my attendance… I miss classes, but I catch up once I am back in Kolhapur,” he said, adding that he hopes to grab a win for India in a Formula One race some day.