Case study

From Motorsport Engineering student to racing driver

Kaushick Raja Mohan’s goal was to get behind a wheel of a racing car. He was able to achieve that goal with the help of our Motorsport Engineering degree and has been driving in the Indian National Racing Championship in the Volkswagen Motorsport AMEO Cup class.

To Derby and back

For Kaushick, our Motorsport Engineering BEng (Hons) was the perfect fit. Our motorsport engineering degree is a full-strength mechanical engineering degree, set in the context of motorsports. Kaushick wanted to specialise in racing in the automotive sector after completing a Diploma in Automobile Engineering and found our course through one of our educational agency partners in India.

He explains: “Derby offered better exposure to different tools for learning, and understanding the subjects in depth, than various colleges in India, as it focuses mainly on hands on practical experiences than that of just theoretical subjects.”

After graduating, Kaushick returned to India and landed an internship with Red Rooster Performance Pvt Ltd in developing race and rally cars for a season. He had then worked as a service engineer at Volvo Cars India before pursuing his career as a racing driver.

“My degree made me stand out from other applications with local race teams at home,” he says. “India has no specialisation in motorsport engineering.”

Kaushick standing with Volkswagon racing car with University of Derby sponsorship logos.

Proud sponsor

We proudly sponsored Kaushick in the Volkswagen Motorsport AMEO Cup class. The competition is the latest sensation in one-make circuit racing series. It is one of the biggest original-equipment-manufacturer-supported motorsport division in India and the event attracts over 20,000 spectators.

Kaushick’s passion for motorsport developed when he was young, as his father was into rally racing. Kaushick used to race in National Level Bike racing championship in India at amateur class, before joining our course.

To secure his seat in the AMEO Cup, he took part in a driver selection programme run by Volkswagen Motorsport. All the drivers were assessed by lap times in go-karts, fitness level and driving style, with the top 15 drivers selected. Out of more than 1,400 initial applicants, Kaushick placed sixth.

He explains: “To drive a racing car, you must understand the behaviour of the race car to push the car to the limits. It all starts from karting, where we learn everything about racing from scratch. Getting behind the wheel of a race car was exhilarating and adrenaline pumping as the car is extremely fast, agile and very lightweight.”

As a Motorsport Engineer graduate, he could easily understand the vehicle dynamics, performance and physics of a racing car. He says: “The University has given me the best exposure to both engineer’s side and driver’s side about racing. I would totally recommend it to all my racing friends about taking up the Motorsport Engineering course, which will help them develop their career at a faster pace.”

Kaushick was crowned Junior Vice Champion of the Indian National Racing Series Ameo Cup class. After finishing as junior winner in 2 of the 3 races in the last round at the madras motor race track in Chennai, Kaushick is now eligible to participate in the Pro Category and is also considering the option to graduate to Formula Ford 1600 single seater racing cars.

Kaushick's driving his University of Derby branded Volkswagon racing car in the lead on the race track.
A side shot of Kaushik's racing car driving on the racetrack in India with Volkswagen flags in the background.
Kaushick's car lined up with the other competitors in the pitstop area.

Thousands of miles from home

Coming from India to the UK to study has given Kaushick a platform to learn to live independently. He has recommended the University and his course to friends interested in Motorsport and he is very proud that we have sponsored him during his racing season in India.

During his time here, Kaushick also got involved in playing sports and was in our junior dodgeball team. He found this was a great way to make new friends from around the world and learn more about team management and how fitness is significant to take part in any sport.

He says: “The University of Derby has given me the opportunity to meet new friends from around the world, learn to live independently and broaden my knowledge in the Motorsport industry with help of all my lecturers. Sincere thanks to my programme leader, who went the extra mile to help me master my course.”

Kaushick standing on stage with the other winners holding his trophy for Junior Vice Champion in the VW Ameo cup.
Kaushick being awarded junior runner up at the Indian National Racing Championship 2019

'I feel really honoured to participate in the National Championship event and privileged to be placed as a runner up in Junior category in my 1st year of professional racing. Without the sponsorship support from University, this massive event wouldn't have been possible.'