Sailesh Bolisetti has become the first Indian to participate in the Euro Racecar championship for the 2013 season. The 24-year-old from the port of Vishakapatnam in Southern India will drive the Chevrolet Camaro for the reigning champion squad Scorpus Racing in the championship, which is sanctioned by the FIA and the American NASCAR. This will be Sailesh’s third international season in saloon car race – the first was the VW Scirocco Cup in 2011 and the second was the British GT, driving a Lotus Evora GT4 last year. Sailesh started his season in the British GT with a bang – scoring a podium on his debut at Oulton Park, and then a win at Nürburgring. But his season was cut short because of a slew of technical issues and DNFs, and when he realized that a championship win was out of reach.
“My ultimate goal is to become a top-level saloon car racer, and Euro Racecar is the right step towards that,” he said. “NASCAR is huge in America and with the Euro Racecar being a feeder series, which works on promoting drivers up the ladder, it is the ideal place to be. We can stay in Europe, which gives me the opportunity to learn the ropes of stock car racing without going all the way to the US.”
Running on Bioethanol E10 fuel, the Euro Racecar series is powered by 5.7-litre, 400bhp Chevrolet V8 engine mated to a four-speed gearbox. Even though cars look similar to those used on NASCAR ovals, the Euro Racecar are purpose-built cars optimised for circuit racing – fully-adjustable dampers, four-pot brakes and a limited stiff differential mean that GT performance is on offer.
Sailesh will be competing in the ‘Elite’ class, meant for experienced, professional drivers. He will share the car with Australian Josh Burdon, who finished third in the Australian F3 championship.
“I’m excited to switch to a different genre of tin-tops, and at this stage of my career it is important for me to be able to quickly adapt myself to new cars, driving styles and tracks. It is something that is a requisite for any professional. But despite achieving some great results last year, we haven’t had any luck with sponsors – it is something that every Indian racer is struggling with, which is a shame since we are as good as anyone else in the world. But due to lack of resources we seldom get a chance to show it,” he said.
Alain Veyssière, team owner and manager of Scorpus Racing, said, “We are sincerely happy to have Sailesh as the first Indian driver in this championship. With Sailesh as a part of the team, we have a team with the best mix of nationalities from across the world – Indian, Australian, Spanish and French.”
Jerome Galpin, General Manager, Euro Racecar series added, “When we created the series in 2008, we never expected this kind of success so soon and only a couple of years later the series became the long-term official partner of NASCAR in Europe. We are very happy and proud to welcome Sailesh as the first Indian driver in the series and wish him all the best for his first season in our very competitive championship. He has all our support and hopefully we’ll be able take the championship to India in the near future as well.”
WATCH THIS SPACE
for exclusive blog posts from Sailesh Bolisetti as he shares his experiences, the challenges, the highs and the lows of racing in the Euro Racecar championship this season. You can read Sailesh’s posts from the 2012 season here.
2013 Euro Racecar Series calendar
Round 1: Nogaro, France (March 31)
Round 2 Dijon, France (11 May)
Round 3 Brands Hatch, UK (8 June)
Round 4 Tours, France (6 July)
Round 5 Aragon, Spain (01 Sep)
Round 6 Monza, Italy (28 Sep)
Round 7 Le Mans, France (12 October)