Shiraz Khan, an aesthetic and restorative dentist, shares what it took to start his racing team, Khanage Racing, and win a double podium in his first season at the Porsche Club Championship.
My first thought about racing was in year four or five. My teacher asked, ‘what’s your dream job?’ and at that age, I was untainted by the world. Without hesitation, I answered, ‘Formula One racing driver’.
Obviously, my life didn’t take that path because education was quite critical and you have to do karting from a really early age. So a door never really opened for me, but it stayed in the background of my mind.
This year, an interesting opportunity presented itself. I had secured no funding, but I took a chance and thought, if I’ll ever do this, now’s the time. And it wasn’t the right time at all, but I just went for it. Lo and behold, we’re here.
I’ve been part of the Porsche Club since 2016 and have been doing various track days with them for a while. In the Porsche Club Championship, there are three classes.
Class one is the premier class for seasoned racers that may have been doing this for 10, 15, 20 years. Class two is for intermediaries. Finally, class three is the Boxster Cup, which I feature in. It’s for newcomers and is considered the slowest category, even though there are very experienced drivers.
I had no race experience before, no competitive driving experience. So, I wasn’t going to throw myself into the deep end. I want to gauge my ability amongst those that have ‘similar experience’.
That being said, there are people with a lot more experience than me this year who’ve been doing it for four to eight years. But it’s a great entry level opportunity to be in a rear-engine car, which has a different set of balance.
And if things don’t work out, parts and cars are quite accessible, so it seemed like the most ‘cost effective’ and ‘risk averse’ cup to go into for my level of experience.
Additionally, Race Drive, which is the team that runs my car, already had a car pre-prepared. They were already giving me driver coaching, so it just meshed to be the perfect fit.
I had committed myself to the season not knowing I would get any sponsors, saying I would fund this myself, but if I could make 50% of the fees, I’d be delighted. Now, I’ve got the whole season with sponsors, and I want to give a very big shout out to all of them and a big thank.
My team’s primary sponsor is Dental Focus. Krishan Joshi and his team were all over the idea of sponsoring a race team.
Acteon, a dental distributor company who I lecture with as well, was also very kind to support this. That was Stancey, who I’ve got a very big soft spot for.
We’ve also got Prestige Dental, the whole team there has been fantastic. Massive shoutout to Lucy Gabbitas, who’s also very close to my heart. She’s taken me out to different places to lecture and learn and grow.
And Orascoptic, Michael Reichel has been lovely also. I’ve done lecturing for them, and in return, they’ve sponsored for the race season. We’ve also got GTS RS Simulation, who is responsible for my driver training, and FTA Media. Sculpt, which is my company, also sponsors it.
Ordinarily, you wouldn’t think that this is something these companies would want to get involved with, but they did.
I’m grateful because perhaps this season wouldn’t have worked out as it has without them. So thank you and I look forward to another great season with them, hopefully.
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