After taking a sabbatical in 2020 due to the pandemic, India’s NASCAR Whelen Euro Series star Advait Deodhar is returning to the championship in 2021 to compete and fight for the EuroNASCAR 2 title with CAAL Racing’s No. 56 TJB Super Yachts team.
India’s NASCAR Whelen Euro Series star Advait Deodhar will be returning to the championship in 2021 after it was announced yesterday that Deodhar will be fighting for the EuroNASCAR 2 title with CAAL Racing.
Deodhar, the 31-year old driver from Mumbai, will be set to drive CAAL’s No. 56 TJB Super Yachts Camaro for the full season as he aims to continue upon the success that he had achieved with CAAL in 2019.
“I’m looking forward to getting back into EuroNASCAR in 2021”, said Deodhar to euronascar.com. “I was hoping to come back in 2020 but due to the situation it was not possible, but now I’m finally on the grid again.”
“I’m here to fight for the championship in the EuroNASCAR 2 but I know there are a lot of fast drivers entering the series, so it’s not going to be easy. I’m delighted that I’ve signed a contract with CAAL Racing for the whole season and it’s going to be the first time for me to race in EuroNASCAR in one team full time.”
Having first entered the series through the Club Challenge division in 2018, Deodhar made his debut in Euro Series’ junior class in the same year after DF1 Racing gave him the opportunity to compete for the team at Brands Hatch and Hockenheim. After winning the Club Challenge title, he was later signed by DF1 to compete with the No. 66 team in EuroNASCAR 2 for 2019.
Unfortunately for Deodhar, financial issues – his racing career was financed purely from his earnings as a yacht broker for TJB Super Yachts – meant that he was replaced by eventual champion Lasse Sørensen starting from the second round at Franciacorta.
Despite this setback, Deodhar did not give up his dream to compete in the championship. After making a one-off appearance for Speedhouse at Franciacorta, he managed to find a new home in CAAL Racing after the Italian team signed him to race the team’s No. 31 car on the round at Brands Hatch.
While his seat continued to be at risk due to the financial issues that he had, he ultimately managed to stay with CAAL for the rest of the season. In the process, he became one of the series’ biggest surprise packages as his consistency turned him into an unlikely challenger for the title. He would eventually finish the season in 4th place, having scored a podium finish at Brands Hatch – making him just the second Asian driver to score a podium finish in Euro – and a total of 10 Top-10 finishes.
He was prepared to return in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic ultimately led to his decision to take a sabbatical. With the world situation mostly improving in 2021, Deodhar has decided to return to the championship with CAAL Racing. He admits, however, that a lack of opportunity to test with the team during pre-season will present some extra challenges for him.
“I think we have a strong base but it will be a challenge to jump back into the right without any testing,” comments Deodhar on the upcoming 2021 season. “I know the track in Valencia, I raced there twice so I’m really looking forward to the season opener in May. I will give my best to fight for the championship.”
In addition, TJB Super Yachts is ready to give Deodhar more support on his return to the championship. As mentioned before, Deodhar has been financing his racing career purely through his earnings as a yacht broker with TJB and while it almost led him to not be able to complete the 2019 season, Deodhar’s success has managed to make a lasting impression on TJB’s founder and CEO Tim Johnson.
“The dedication and passion that Advait puts into his motor racing certainly comes through in his career as a yacht charters and sales broker,” said Tim Johnson on TJB Super Yachts’ official website. “We are all extremely proud of Advait’s achievements and will be rooting for him in the EuroNASCAR Championship starting next month.”
The announcement of TJB’s increased support to Deodhar was revealed several hours before Deodhar’s return was officially announced on euronascar.com. The press release reveals that Johnson has given the green light for TJB to give Deodhar the support he needed to fulfill his ambition of becoming India’s first NASCAR champion.
“It is not often you get to work with someone with as much raw talent as Advait Deodhar, one of the company’s most experienced sales and charter brokers,” said TJB on their press release. “Yet Advait’s talents don’t stop at ensuring his clients receive a bespoke and first-class yachting experience, as he is also a highly successful racing driver.”
“With TJB Super Yachts behind him, we believe he can continue with his successes and fulfil his ambitions. So, from all of the staff and his long-standing clients at TJB Super Yachts, we want to wish Advait the very best of luck at his first round in Valencia next month and will be cheering him on as the chequered flag waves.”
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard / Bart Dehaese / Michael Großgarten.