Through a combination of racing skills, peak physical fitness and the know-how of his Carlin team, the 27-year-old racer from India heads to Round 3 five points clear of the opposition in the world’s first micromobility racing series.
It’s impressive given that before testing for the inaugural world championship, Anish had never ridden an electric scooter but he has adapted quickly because of his skills on two wheels – he’s already an Indian National Motorcycle Racing champion – and his supreme fitness. As winner of the Indian Cross Fit Open Championships, he boasts the lower-body strength and flexibility needed to race the S1-X eSkootr at high speeds. It all combines to make Anish a serious contender.
He describes himself as “self-motivated”, a characteristic he inherits from his father who, he says, “started from scratch”. It was Anish’s father who gave him his first motorbike at age 15. When Anish visited a nearby workshop for some minor repairs, he discovered the mechanics were keen amateur racers. They invited him to watch them compete and he was hooked.
After trying his hand at freestyle stunt riding, he entered his first off-road race at the age of 17 and started scoring podiums in circuit racing – recording over 20 top-three finishes in 18 months.
He learned fast, becoming the first Indian rider to score points in the Asian Road Racing Championship and won the Desert Storm Rally. In 2018, he was crowned Indian National Motorcycle Racing champion.
He also opened the 44 School of Racing to pass his skills on to the next generation of riders. It’s this interest in racing and nurturing new talent that made him a perfect fit for Carlin, a team who have been at the forefront of junior motor racing for 25 years. More than half the current F1 grid has raced for the British team at some stage while numerous team personnel learnt their craft in the pits with Carlin.
“Carlin are renowned in motorsport and every engineer and person in the crew has been amazing,” says Anish. “I’ve learnt a lot in terms of racing and also in terms of discipline and how they manage their team. We all have the same mindset, so we work well together.
“They have great strategists and we execute ideas well, but the thing I need to work on is upscaling my riding skills.”
Having demonstrated great consistency, that drive to improve should worry his title rivals. And the first two rounds of eSC show that pure pace isn’t the only ingredient needed for success. Engineering setup,knockout racing tactics and disciplined use of boost control means strategy plays a big part. So, too, does physical fitness as rider fatigue has been a major factor as the laps ticked up in the opening rounds.
But when it comes to strength and fitness, Shetty might be the fittest in the 30-rider field: he trains six times a week,focusing on both aerobic and anaerobic conditioning. It’s another of his passions that will make him a tough competitor to beat as the six-round championship heads towards its mid-point of the season with a rendezvous in Italy.
Keep an eye on the Fittest Man in Asia as Shetty aims to become the fastest rider – and first overall winner – of the eSkootr Championship.