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Desouza targets Audi TT Cup, seeks Volkswagen India support

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Desouza targets Audi TT Cup, seeks Volkswagen India support
By:
Aug 10, 2016, 7:29 AM

Touring car driver Keith Desouza is aiming to compete in the Audi TT Cup in 2017, seeking help from Volkswagen Motorsport India to make it happen.

Keith Desouza
Keith Desouza
Keith Desouza
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Keith Desouza during interview
Keith Desouza
Keith Desouza
Ishaan Dodhiwala, Karminder Singh and Keith Desouza
Keith Desouza
Keith Desouza
Race winner Keith Desouza (right), second placed Niranjan Todkari (centre) and third placed Karminder Pal Singh (left)

The 22-year-old driver racing in the Vento Cup and the Indian Junior Touring Car championship, took his maiden win in the Volkswagen-supported one-make championship in Chennai, last month.

Having pretty much raced in all the closed-wheel series in India, the Goa-based driver feels, it is the time for him to step into the international shores.

"If I win the titles in Vento Cup and IJTC, the opportunities are extinct here, as I only have Indian Touring Car, which is more sideways move," Desouza told exclusively to Motorsport.com.

"So, I want to do my best this season and as I am already 22, so to make it big in Europe, I have to move there soon, I don't have much time in hand to guess what to do next.

"The plan is already to look for sponsors to race in bigger race series, I am planning for the Audi TT Cup," the Indian revealed when asked which of the championships he is looking at.

Needs manufacturer support

As it is with most drivers, lack of funds is the primary hurdle and so Desouza stressed the importance of having a backing from a big manufacturer for a driver's career.

"A manufacturer support is very important, my understanding is VW Motorsport India has an ability to get me a seat there [Audi TT], so I am trying to prove with my performances here," he said.

"I am just showing that I can adapt to a new car pretty quick, racing in two series at the same weekend and my technical knowledge puts me in a good shape with set-up work.

"Yes, I have had talks but getting a seat in Audi TT is pretty difficult [too], lot of drivers are trying. If Volkswagen helps me out in getting a seat, that would be great," he added.

WTCC/BTCC too far ahead

While the Indian has one eye on the German one-make, he is also looking for a future in World Touring Car Championship or British Touring Car Championship.

However, Desouza thinks it is a move which for now is far ahead. "Both WTCC and BTCC is in the loop but I’ll take it one step at a time. These series is two-steps ahead.

"So, again a platform like Audi TT as one-make having a very high level of driver skill involved, would be a better and logical move," Desouza clarifies.

When asked if he is keeping his options open within Asia and or Australia's Supercars, the Goan emphasized that Europe remains the main goal.

Consistency key for Vento title

Talking about the Vento Cup season, with three podiums including a win, Desouza wants to keep it simple as he wishes to win the title against experienced campaigners Ishaan Dodhiwala and Karminder Singh.

"In Coimbatore I thought I would do better, I wasn't overly happy. But since then, the confidence has grown with the Vento car coming into Chennai," he said.

"At the end of the day I know in a championship, it is about consistency. I don't want to take undue risk and lose points.

"If I win races, finish on podium and remain consistent, it will be good to take the title."

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Chennai Vento Cup: Todkari takes lights-to-flag maiden win

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Chennai Vento Cup: Todkari takes lights-to-flag maiden win

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Chennai II Vento Cup: Dodhiwala takes Race 1 pole

Chennai II Vento Cup: Dodhiwala takes Race 1 pole
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Series Touring
Author Darshan Chokhani