Mumbai : Arjun Maini is one of the top young motor race drivers in India, who in 2017 was associated with Haas F1 Team as a development driver. He has also participated in GP3 Series and FIA Formula 2 Championships. But now Maini has moved from single-seater cars to endurance racing and has participated in the Asian Le Mans Series.The 24-year-old race driver recently completed a season in DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) series, a premier German touring car championship, in which he represented Mercedes AMG Team Getspeed and finished 12th among 23 drivers in the 2021 season. He came first in two qualifying drives and stood second in one race.In an interview with IANS conducted over email, the Bangalore-born racer assesses his career so far, his performance, and his outlook for the future. Excerpts:
Q: Can you say something about your experience of racing in DTM?
A: It was an awesome experience to be the first Indian driver in the DTM. When I was in Formula 3 we used to support the DTM series and that’s when I saw how big the series is and it was a dream of mine to be a part of the series one day. It was a big learning experience and I improved a lot throughout the year and finally had a good Finish with a podium.
Q: How satisfied are you with your performance in the season?
A: At the start of the year it was a bit disappointing. Although the pace was always there, I was struggling with a few other things in the races. But I worked on myself and improved a lot for the second half of the season where I was very competitive so I was happy with the way it ended.
Q: What are your plans for the next season?
A: Still working on it but it would be great to do another season of the same.
Q: Where do you think you are heading in your motorsports career?
A: I’m very happy where I am right now. I would like to, along with the DTM, still do the big endurance races to make my program complete and so yeah that would be ideal for me.
Q: How difficult has the journey been? Who will you give credit to for your career so far?
A: None of this would’ve been possible without my father who has supported me every step of the way. JK Tyre have also been a massive help to me since the start of my career and of course recently without the help of Omega Seiki Mobility, this season would have not been possible. And of course, I am very grateful to Mercedes AMG for believing in me this year.
Q: What is your ambition in motorsports?
A: I want to win the DTM series along with the big endurance races (24 hours Le Mans, 24 Hours Nurburgring, etc)
Q: If you are given a chance to look into the crystal ball and predict your future, where do you see yourself five years from now?
A: Very tough to say. One thing is for sure I want to be racing whatever it is!
Q: What do you think has been the most memorable moment of your life so far? Who is your idol in Motorsports?
A: I’ve had a lot of memorable moments so far in my career. I think the GP3 win and the DTM podium are definitely up there along with the F4 and TRS successes. But to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for me was just incredible and that whole experience was just out of this world.