Yuven Sundaramoorthy: From MRF Cup to Indy 500; Indian Origin Driver Making Steps in the US Racing World

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Yuven Sundaramoorthy and family

Do you know how many Indian have raced in Formula 1? Two.
But do you know how many have raced in Indycar? ZERO.

Indian drivers race all over Europe in various junior formula races but they are yet to made a mark in the American racing scene i.e Indycar.
Meet Yuven Sundaramoorthy. An Indian American open-wheel racer whose family is from Tamil Nadu. A computer science graduate takes pride in breaking stereotypes.

He is the first Indian-Americans in the American racing scene, contributing to the increasing acceptance of diversity within the community. His diverse cultural background, with roots in both the USA and India, provides him with a global outlook, valuable in the competitive world of racing.

In an exclusive Interview with Sports India Show, Yuven Sundaramoorthy opened up on different aspects of his career and life.

Yuven’s initial steps into the world of speed

He Stated “I lived by a formula 1 track when I was younger 10 years old and my my dad took me to a race and from there I really enjoyed it so started with go karting and kind of kept looking up from there and now finally at the Indie Next Series which is one step below IndyCar Series which is the biggest series in the US and in North America”

Family support

Sundaramoorthy then went on to reveal how his family reacted when he told them that he wanted to pursue a career in racing: “they were super supportive of none of us really knew anything about it um but they were super supportive and wanting to help me out which which made it a lot better for me because I had that support group behind me so it was definitely super helpful and I’m I’m glad that’s how it went”

The cost of being a racing driver

Moto racing is one of the most expensive sports in the world. Unless a driver is racing in the top tier, they have to spend a considerable amount of money to keep the racing dream alive.
He talked about how he manages the massive expense an Indy Driver has to bear and how he overcomes those challenges.

“I mean it’s definitely a big challenge and we’re kind of going race to race  at this point which is a little rough but I mean it’s there are different ways to kind of go about it right you can get sponsors or the way that we’ve been doing it is through investors so you can invest in shares.”

He continued “when I go pro I make a return on your investment there so that’s kind of how we’ve been doing it which is worth so far but each step up the ladder gets more and more expensive which is an unfortunate truth but it’s something we’ve had to deal with and hopefully we can get some good sponsors we have a couple should be coming on soon so that’d be really nice so”

The first Indian Driver in Indy: Yuven Sundaramoorthy

“It’s definitely a cool experience for me mainly because it’s just cool to see that you know the stereotypes or whatever kind of not necessarily true right you can kind of get out of those stereotypes that are on the South Asian communities at all and kind of inspire other people because I’ve had people reach out to me and be like oh this is so cool what you’re doing I kind of want to do the same thing how do I get involved and I can kind of help them get started and now we’re starting to see a lot more South Asians and Indians get involved in the sport so it’s definitely a cool thing for me to see”

Racing in India

Yuven went on to share his experience of racing in India in 2022 “yeah it was an amazing experience for me obviously my family’s from Tamilnadu so a bunch of them  got to come to the race and it’s it was a huge event I got to win there which was which is such a cool thing and seeing all those people and all those supporters that were there and supported me was was super cool and I just love the track I now have the track record at that track so it’s a pretty cool thing and I really enjoyed it and I hope I get to do it again you know

When asked about his memories from the MRF Cup which was held in Chennai. Yuven stated:

“The main memory is winning in Chennai um it was definitely one of the highlights of that trip for me for sure um and also just there were a couple other wins in Dubai and  the other spots so it was definitely a really really entertaining kind of trip for me because I Learned so much you know racing against really really really good drivers there so it overall it was a really good learning experience for me and being able to kind of win there was just a topping on the kick”

When asked if Yuven got a chance to visit the Budha International Circuit in India, Yuven expressed his disappointment of not getting a chance to visit the Circuit.

“I really want to but I’ve not gotten a chance to though. The only track I’ve ever been able to visit in India is the Madras Motor Race Club but I definitely would like to kind of check out the circuits and even the tracks that don’t get run anymore, the New Delhi track I really want to try it out. It just seemed like such a cool track at the time.”

“I got to do a couple races in the MRF series so that’s the only series I’ve raced with in India but um I mean the competition is really good in both spots and  it’s no longer just United States drivers anymore it’s all international drivers which is a cool thing and I think people are starting to realize that the competition is just as high as it is in Europe and everything like uh everything else like that so um it’s really good and also when we raced  in India it was a bunch of really really good drivers who are now going on to do great things in their careers too so um all the lot of the racing anthem has been super competitive so far so I’m really fortunate to have been able to race in competitive.”

Indycar vs Formula 1

Yuven Sundaramoorthy then opened up on the difference between Formula 1 and Indy “so it’s obviously that big debate right between Indy and Formula 1 I think they’re very different things I think Formula 1 Is an engineering competition right cause all the cars are engineered by the massive teams of super talented engineers and stuff like that but in the end it’s the faster car tends to win more often or not as you can see it in the latest couple years but indeed everything is a lot more spec so I consider Indy a Racing competition where F1s an engineering competition.”

“I think so far in Indy every race has had a different winner and that’s pretty consistent every year so you never know who’s gonna win the race and it’s you can qualify and poll and still not win the race and I think there is they said 152 passes or something like that in the last race so definitely a bit much more entertaining thing to be driving in  cause you can always fight for the win no matter what so that’s kind of the part for me that it’s super nice to be as a racer”

Yuven Sundaramoorthy then went on to talk about his favorite Indy driver and racing track. He said, “I like a bunch of them um cause I’m I’m good friends with everyone in the paddock is good friends with each other which is really nice”
He added, “I work out with a group of them um it’s definitely cool to see some of those guys race like Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi all these guys that um are really really good racers.”

“My roommate uh works on the Christian Lundgaard’s car so I support him when I can but um it’s definitely it’s a really tight-knit community which is also really nice part about it is everyone kind of helps each other out that’s weird so can you tell us”

“My favorite track in the US um well my favorite track in North America is the Toronto street circuit um just across the border in Canada which I just think is a really fun track. It’s in downtown Toronto so there’s the scenery and everything is super nice.  In the US probably ST Petersburg Florida.”
“I just really like the street circuits I think they’re really fun and really fun to do but Road America my home track that’s a great track to race at because there are long straightaways it makes for very good passing so there’s a couple that kind of come to mind there”

When will he drive next?

Yuven Sundaramoorthy also revealed the date of his next Race: the next race is June 2nd I believe it’s the start of next month that’s in Detroit Street Circuit again so I’ve never raced there before but I like Street Circuit so far so hopefully it’ll go well”

Yuven’s pick for the 2024 Indy 500

The Indy 500, one of the biggest racing event in the USA is slated to happen on 26 May 2024. Yuven, who have raced on the circuit in the past talked about the race.
He said, “I’m just going as a watcher this year I don’t get to race in it until um hopefully next year of the year after an Indy car but um because it’s so strategy based um and it’s so much can happen in that I mean 200 laps 500 miles right so it’s a long race and um.”

“I’m excited to see cause there’s a lot of the guys that qualified in the backyard last weekend and that I think they have the pace to kind of do well in the race so it’ll be interesting to watch and um we’ll see if the Penske cars can kind of hold on to their pole position but we’ll see okay so can you give us some predictions for the new 500 yeah so obviously it’s hard to root against the Penske without fast they were but you know”

“I think that some of the guys further back will come forward I think there’s a couple guys in those last couple rows that will be kind of unhappy with the qualifying performance and hopefully can move forward hopefully some of those Ray Haul guys or even some of those smaller teams the dryer rainbow cars can do well”

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