Running another DTM season will be great, says young driver Arjun Maini

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Arjun Maini is one of the best young racing drivers in India, who in 2017 was associated with Haas F1 Team as a development driver. He also competed in the GP3 Series and FIA Formula 2 championships. But now Maini has switched from single seaters to endurance racing and competed in the Asian Le Mans Series.

The 24-year-old racing driver recently completed a season in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) series, a leading German touring car championship, in which he represented Mercedes AMG Team Getspeed and finished 12th out of 23 drivers in the of the 2021 season. He finished first in two qualifying practices and second in one race.

In an email interview with IANS, the Bangalore-born runner assesses his career so far, performance and future prospects.

Extracts:

Q: Can you tell us about your racing experience in DTM?

A: It was a great experience to be the first Indian driver in DTM. When I was in Formula 3 we were supporting the DTM series and that’s when I saw how great the series is and it was a dream of mine to be part of the series someday. . It was a great 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 this season?

A: At the start of the year it was a bit disappointing. Even though the pace was still there, I struggled with a few other things in the races. But I worked on myself and improved a lot in the second half of the season where I was very competitive so I was happy with how it ended.

Q: What are your plans for the next season?

A: I’m still working on it, but it would be great to do another season of the same.

Q: Where do you see yourself heading in your motorsport career?

A: I am very happy where I am right now. I would like, with the DTM, to continue doing great endurance races to complete my program and so yes that would be ideal for me.

Q: How difficult was the trip? Who will you give credit for your career so far?

A: None of this would have been possible without my father who supported me every step of the way. JK Tire has also been a huge help to me since the start of my career and of course recently without the help of Omega Seiki Mobility this season would not have been possible. And of course I’m very grateful to Mercedes AMG for believing in me this year.

Q: What is your ambition in motorsport?

A: I want to win the DTM series at the same time as the big endurance races (24 heures du Mans, 24 heures du Nurburgring, etc.)

Q: If you are given the chance to look into the crystal ball and predict your future, where do you see yourself in five years?

A: Very difficult to say. One thing is for sure, I want to run anything!

Q: What do you think has been the most memorable moment in your life so far? Who is your idol in motorsport?

A: I have had a lot of memorable moments so far in my career. I think the victory in GP3 and the podium in DTM are definitely there with the successes in F4 and TRS. But racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans was just amazing for me and the whole experience was out of this world.

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