It all began in 2009, when Khurshed Daruvala from Dadar picked up a copy of Bombay Times on a flight, and noticed a WhatsHot listing on go karting in Powai, during the weekend. He made a mental note to tell his sports-enthusiast son, nine-and-half-year-old Jehan Daruvala, about it.
Article by Debrati Sen | TNN
However, once home, he got to know that Jehan had an English exam the next day and asked him to skip the weekend camp. But he and his wife Kainaz were stumped by their child’s sheer enthusiasm. “But this is a question of my life’s career, dad!” exclaimed Jehan. And so, the parents took him to coach Rayomand Banajee for the camp, where he recognised the potential in Jehan.
Cut to present. Now, a decade later, Jehan has gone on to become the first and only Indian to ever win multiple F3 races, globally. Last month, he zoomed ahead to win the 2019 inaugural event of the all new FIA Formula 3 Championship in Barcelona.
Jehan had begun with go karting and he started with cars, five years ago.
Jehan on his car, post winning
…With the other winners
Jehan says, “When I won, I was shocked. I have always believed in myself, but making it to the first position and winning the championship was a different high. It was an extremely proud moment on the podium when our National Anthem began playing, and I received the award in front of a massive crowd and the Formula 1 team. This is my fifth year with formula cars and I have won multiple races along the way. But definitely, this one is my biggest achievements so far.”
For 20-year old Jehan, a resident of Dadar Parsi colony, this win has translated into more work and single-minded dedication to the sport.
The high tech simulator at his Dadar home
He now lives in London for most part of the year due to the demands of professional racing, but at his homes in both cities, he has two sets of state-of-the-art Formula race car simulators for practice sessions. He elaborates, “This is the only practice that I get. The simulator has multiple sensors and monitors, and it offers a realistic experience. It’s totally unlike the video games that people play. In order to reduce costs, racers get to practise on Formula cars only six days in a year. For example, for a race on Friday afternoon, we get to practise only on Friday morning. Also, we get to do only a maximum of eight races, annually. So, on the actual track, you hardly get any time. Apart from this, we also go through previous year’s data and videos of other racers and learn from that.”
Talking about his diet and fitness, he says, “My weight has to remain under 70-80 kg and for that, I follow a special diet and fitness plan. I train five days a week, and my diet is according to my gym routine. So, if I am working very hard in the gym, I eat a lot of carbohydrates and so on.”
His coach, nutritionist and gym trainer work in tandem with him. Jehan has a monitoring device attached to him always, even while he is swimming, which keeps a tab on his vital parameters and sends all data to his coach and personal trainer in the UK.
Apart from racing, Jehan is good at racquet games, cricket and football as well. Last month, he bagged a ‘Man of the game’ trophy in Mumbai, for his football skills. Jehan’s next race will be along with the French Grand Prix from 21 to 23 June.