Behind the wheels

Speed racing

Behind the wheels

Being an artist from childhood, he would sketch bikes and cars. As the years passed, he studied more about the horsepower of his 150cc Suzuki Fiero that his father gifted him during his college days in 2002. 

   Saving money from his part-time jobs, he funded various engine projects.   Today, Joel Joseph is a national champion in the pro-stock/Indian Open and forced induction winner of the National Drag Race.

“Things took off for me when a few like-minded friends provided immense support and great company to fuel my ideas. Somewhere in 2005, I was introduced to the world of circuit racing, where you get to prove yourself in the industry. And the rest is history!” he says.

Joel is also the owner of ‘Race Concepts’, his dream platform to build machines purely focussed on motorsports, based on extensive research and development through racing programmes. “I began with tuning bikes and then moved on to cars as I wanted to help enthusiasts and motorsport teams get the most of what we offer to improve racing standards,” he adds.

   By 2009, he quit his corporate job and joined a racing team as a technical head. He won the Group B (fully modified) Expert Class nationaltitle in 2010 in the debut season. “My focus then shifted from bikes to cars; I started building my personal ‘Honda City VTec’, which was the start of my never-ending Honda exploits. Since then, I have been building the quickest naturally aspirated and turbo-charged front wheel drive cars in the country,” he proudly shares.

Joel’s hard work and success have given him many titles. From 2007 to 2010, he raced in most of the 1600cc and 260cc bikes hill climb and quarter mile events, and in the year 2014, he was the runner-up at the MRF National Racing Championship in the super-stock. He also took part in the JK Tyre Indian Drag Racing Championship. He says, “My proudest moment was when we won our debut race early this year in the 2015 MRF National Racing Championship in the Indian Touring Cars category. It was a dream that I had been chasing for the last four years!”

He believes that our country has great potential in the field of motorsports.     
   He says that racing is as intense and challenging as the country’s love for cricket. “About 30 years back, we had the most sought-after racing scenario. From the famous Sholavaram race track near Chennai to the airstrips in Kolar and Kolkata, we had a rich racing culture; people would flock to watch these races. But somewhere things went wrong and the culture just died. An awareness in understanding motorsport is also needed,” he says.

When asked what he has to say to those who want to make a career in motorsports, he says that people should avoid rash riding/driving on the road.  He advises one to keep to the track and be safe.  “If someone drives/rides very fast, it doesn’t mean he’s a good racer. Racing is an art that needs skill, finesse, courage and technical understanding. One must hone one’s skills by attending racing schools/academies, which train you to not just
become a racer but, more importantly, a safer rider/driver. A lot of racing programmes are coming up and they are the best platform to enter competitive racing with good guidance.”

Five years down the line, he hopes to improve motorsports standards, build competitive machines, and develop a platform for budding racers to join the sport with good mentoring. 

During his free time, Joel loves to go on long rides and drives, and read and dream about his upcoming projects. He jokes, “If I weren’t in this field, I’d be leading a perfectly normal life with family and friends, fighting the corporate rat race. Or I would have probably become an artist.”

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