It is the start of a new year and what better way to welcome it than to introduce our first man crush of our monthly Men Crush Issue? Presenting Akash Neil Nandy, or better known as Akash, a professional racecar driver who eats, sleeps, breathes racing since the tender age of 12. Akash has been racing his whole life driving fast cars in and out of Malaysia competing in races to prove he is indeed the fastest on the tracks. But enough introduction, let’s get to know Akash better, shall we?
1. Give us a little insight on what you do for a living.
At this current point of time, I’m still pursuing my law degree in which I am approaching the start of my final year after my exams. Alongside this, I have been a racing driver since the age of 12 when I started in local go-kart competitions in Malaysia before moving up to these single seaters at 14. Recently, in the last 2 years, I also picked up a new sport – CrossFit, which I use to keep myself fit for my racing and also to test my fitness level in other CrossFit competitions. Soon after picking this up I became a coach at Fuel Athletics.
2. How did racing come about? Tell us more about it.
Cars have always been a passion of mine since I was a toddler. I loved everything about going fast. It never fails to excite me. When I was 4 years old, my father had taken me to a go-kart track in Extreme Park which was where I had my first go at driving a go-kart. Since then, I could never get enough of it. Until I was a little older, my dad bought me a used 85cc go-kart and we would use it every weekend. My love for cars just grew from there till one day I asked him to let me race. Racing is a sport that my father and I shared and I’m so grateful that I have been able to do it with his support.
3. What was your biggest achievement in racing?
My biggest ever achievement in racing was the 60th Macau Grand Prix where I became the youngest ever to win a race on the streets of Macau at the age of 16. At this time, I was racing in the Formula Master Series.
4. How are you on normal public roads though? Are you still a speed freak as you are on the racing tracks? Be honest!
Well, over the years of driving on public roads, I have learnt how to be more patient and therefore, I would say I do drive at normal speeds at most times, but I can’t deny the fact that I don’t drive like a speed freak. Doesn’t matter what car I drive, I do some quite daring things.
5. We see that you workout a lot too. How do you juggle your time with these two heavy and time-consuming activities?
It’s all about being disciplined. Using your time the best you can is what I like to do. I was thought to manage my time the best I can and it is not as easy as it sounds. It does become quite hectic but keeping that discipline and motivation is key.
6. What other things do you do when you’re not racing?
When I’m not racing, I like to make sure that I’m consistently training, spend time with people who are close to me, and also, I would like to say I’m somewhat of a bedroom DJ. So I am continuously messing around with that.
7. What is one thing that people will be surprised to know about you?
Based on what I have heard, people tend to say that I seem more matured for my age compared to what they expect.
8. Does style play a big part in your racing uniform?
Yes, style does play quite a significant role in the racing uniform or team wear. Especially in the team uniform because we like looking professional and stylish. That way, the team is much more respected hence, it brings our status up.
9. If you could go on a vacation to anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I would say Bali. Although I have been there a few times, it never fails to amaze me with how amazing the culture and people are there. I would always be up for a trip to Bali any time!
10. What is your dream car that you wish you could have?
I am huge fan of Porsches! So the Porsche GT3 RS!
11. Which fictional character do you identify with the most?
Okay, this may be a little funny, but I really resonate with Batman. I am a bit of comic book nerd, so I enjoy reading and watching stuff relating to the fictional comic character.
12. What was your best experience in your racing career?
The best experience I have ever had in my racing career would again be the 60th Macau Grand Prix race win on a street track. After losing the championship by a few points in 2013, I felt that my team and I deserved more. Since it was my last race for that team (KC Motorgroup from Hong Kong), I had to leave with a bang and that’s exactly what we did on a wet rainy Sunday. Started from the pole position and led it all the way.
13. In your opinion, what is one thing people should pay more attention to?
Self-respect! Why? Because people tend to forget the importance of taking care of themselves. We are always trying to seek approval from others for the way we are but what about what we think?
14. What motivates you to get out of bed every day?
Every day is always another opportunity to better yourself, but those opportunities are also full of challenges. So, taking on these challenges and making the most of it is what always motivates me.
15. What song instantly puts you in a good mood?
Any music that is EDM or house. My current jam, however, is Trust (Loge21 Remix) by What So Not & BURNS.
16. What is the one clothing item every man should own in his wardrobe?
A man should always have a nice watch with him. I feel it says a lot about a guy in his taste of watches. Also, it’s good for keeping track of time.
17. What local Malaysian food would you recommend foreigners to try?
Go for the roti canai! You can never go wrong with it.
18. What is one thing you hate about driving in Malaysia?
How people are so inconsiderate during traffic or when they sit in the fast lane doing 90km/h or lower.
19. Every driver in Malaysia should know how to…
Have better awareness of what’s happening around them on the roads. I see accidents usually happen when they drive with too much or too little confidence. Also, people, PLEASE use your signals before you change lanes. The safety of others matters too.
20. Any advices for people who want to get into racing?
There tons of ways to get into racing. Lately, it’s all about having the money but my advice: go to your local go-kart track and have a feel for it. Learn the basics and continuously practice and it will come to you. Things will take off from there.
Want to know more about this dashing racer? Simply follow him on Instagram at @akashneilnandy and check out his life around fast cars.
A hot guy in expensive cars; not a bad way to start the new year, huh? Who do you think will be our next men crush in February? Do you have any suggestions? Share them with us in the comments section below!