Algarve Pro Racing has recruited India’s Arjun Maini as its reserve driver for the 2020 European Le Mans Series (ELMS), at the beginning of its tyre technical partnership with Goodyear and its association with B.R.M Chronographes.
The Bangalore driver had a successful karting career before climbing the junior single-seater ladder, firstly finishing second overall in the Formula BMW Championship in his native India before travelling to the UK for a BRDC Formula 4 campaign.
Maini raced to eight wins and nine podiums to finish a close second to his then teammate and Williams F1 driver George Russell, and his impeccable speed and consistency earned him a coveted nomination for the British Racing Drivers’ Club Rising Star programme, as well as the Sports Writers’ Association of Bangalore (SWAB) Junior Sportsman of the Year and Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) Future Star Awards.
Notably, he went on to become the first Indian to win a GP3 Series race and record a fastest lap before joining the FIA Formula 2 grid, and then seamlessly transitioned from open-wheelers to endurance sportscar racing in 2019.
Maini was initially signed for Algarve Pro’s frontline assault on the 2020 ELMS, but travel restrictions in and out of India in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have prevented him from taking up a full-time race seat.
Nevertheless, the Indian racer is happy to be taking on a reserve driver role at Algarve Pro Racing, saying: “It’s good to be associated with Algarve Pro Racing and the European Le Mans Series, as it’s a very strong programme, especially with the Goodyear tyre technical partnership. It’ll be an interesting year for everyone involved with the project and I’ll be following up on everything, even though travel from India is going to be hard for the foreseeable due to COVID-19.
“I may be out of the car for a while, but I have faith in my abilities, and pre-lockdown testing at Circuit Paul Ricard filled me with confidence. Algarve Pro and Goodyear engineers have been working towards the same goals and objectives and their joint efforts should produce results.”
Algarve Pro Racing Team Principal, Stewart Cox, said: “Arjun (Maini) impressed the entire European Le Mans Series paddock when he stepped into endurance sportscar racing in 2019 so he was the natural choice for our reserve driver role and we’re delighted to have him aboard. His talent is undeniable, and we were impressed with his professionalism when he joined the team and Goodyear in pre-season testing earlier this year, before lockdown. While the plan was to have him as part of our full-time line-up, he will still be a huge asset to Algarve Pro Racing in a reserve driver capacity.”