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Racer Akshay Gupta sole Indian driver for Nurburgring Langstrecken-Serie, signs deal with Mertens Motorsport

IANS | April 05, 2024 04:06 PM

NEW DELHI: Indian racer Akshay Gupta has officially inked a deal with Mertens Motorsport for the highly anticipated 2024 Nürburgring Langstrecken-Serie (NLS) season which will take place on the Nurburgring circuit in Germany.

The NLS is widely renowned as one of the oldest and most esteemed endurance racing championships globally since its inception in the 1970s. Akshay’s signing represents a significant milestone for Indian motorsport, as he becomes the country’s sole racer set to compete against over 300 drivers and 117 cars.

The Ahmedabad-based racer discovered some injuries while doing a few rounds in the championship with Adrenalin Motorsport in a BMW last year, which required him to undergo surgeries on both his hands. Despite still undergoing recovery from the surgeries, Akshay’s passion for racing has fueled his return to the track as he remains actively engaged in pre-season testing during the ongoing recovery process.

The 31-year-old will pilot the Hyundai i30N (car number 492) for Mertens Motorsport in the upcoming season. Akshay's journey with Mertens Motorsport will kick off with the season opener at the NLS1: 64. ADAC ACAS Cup on April 6.

Having begun his career as a professional racer in 2010, Akshay, who is also a tech founder, demonstrated his prowess behind the wheel by finishing as a runner-up at the Buddh International Circuit for Toyota in the season finale of the National Championship in 2013.

"Since the day I was 2 years old I have only played with cars, when I turned 4, my dad got me a go-kart and that consumed all of my playtime as a kid. It was only in my early teens that I realized that there's a career called being a racecar driver and ever since that day I have been pursuing the dream to keep racing cars across the globe. It is the most expensive sport in the world, and for the son of a bank manager, I had to find creative ways to get back into it. After having sold my company, I'm thrilled to return to my first love full-time, racing cars, ” stated Akshay.

His remarkable talent also earned him recognition from Nissan, who selected him after a rigorous driver selection program out of 10, 000 drivers in India to compete in their Asian GT Academy Finale held in the UK. The competition has become a major feature film released on Netflix called Gran Turismo.

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