Steven Aghakhani, 15-year-old Lamborghini driver, talks racing career, goals

AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 21: Pascal Wehrlein of Germany driving the (94) Sauber F1 Team Sauber C36 Ferrari on track during qualifying for the United States Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas on October 21, 2017 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 21: Pascal Wehrlein of Germany driving the (94) Sauber F1 Team Sauber C36 Ferrari on track during qualifying for the United States Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas on October 21, 2017 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) /

We recently had the chance to talk to 15-year-old Lamborghini driver Steven Aghakhani to hear what he had to say about getting into racing and some of his goals for the future.

NOTE: This Q&A interview has been slightly edited for clarity.

Beyond the Flag: What got you interested in racing at such a young age? 
Steven Aghakhani: My dad, he used to race and basically I was his shadow at every event. 

BTF: Have you always wanted to pursue racing as a goal? 
Aghakhani: Yes, it’s my passion and my family’s passion and I love every minute I’m on the track. 

BTF: What are your ultimate goals in the racing world?
Aghakhani: Honestly, I could answer this question in a lot of ways because but I guess I’ll focus on a current goal and that is currently I am not working on being the fastest driver but the most consistent. First place comes down to the technicality of the driver and my goal this year is to master the technical side of my driving. 

BTF: Do you follow any racing series as a fan when you’re not driving? 
Aghakhani: F1! My family and I are diehard fans we all have our favorite teams and drivers and we go every year to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which, as you know, is the final race of the F1 season. I also follow the PWC (Pirelli World Challenge) and IMSA series as well.

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BTF: What have been some of the highlights of your racing career so far?  
Aghakhani: Winning the Pirelli World Challenge 8 hours Laguna Seca race and the NASA pro series in super unlimited when I was 13 years old.

BTF: What have been some of the challenges that you have faced in your racing career so far? 
Aghakhani: The “BOP” [Balance of Performance] sanction that we received from the governing body during our last race. It made our car very slow on certain area of the track. However, we were able to overcome the challenge by strategizing the race better.

BTF: When you officially receive your FIA Pro license, what are some of the things that can you achieve that you otherwise would not be able to? 
Aghakhani: I will be able to race internationally and in PWC and IMSA series without any limitation. I have to thank FIA sanctioning body that they granted me a “silver” instead of “bronze”, which I was told that I was the youngest driver ever to receive the silver category by skipping the bronze.

BTF: Who are some of your racing heroes or any drivers in general who you have looked up to and been a fan of (in any series/more than one series, if applicable)?
Aghakhani: Definitely Lewis Hamilton and Ayrton Senna. They are an incredible inspiration, I love their drive, they are just such a phenomenal drivers….they are the ultimate champions to me. 

BTF: With all the competing that you do across the United States at the age of 15, do you find time to do anything that average 15-year-olds do (social life, schooling, any other interests, etc.)?
Aghakhani: I definitely have a great balance of social life and race life. When I am not racing, I am working out at the gym with my trainer to improve my physic and reflexes and after the gym I am just a regular kid hanging out with my friends, going to the mall and playing video games. Although all my friends are into cars!! 

BTF: What has been the most challenging race track (or tracks) at which you have competed?  
Aghakhani: So far, COTA (Circuit of the Americas).

BTF: What makes this track (or tracks) so challenging? 
Aghakhani: Due to slow corners and just in case if you make an error on one of the corners it is hard to correct the entry on the following corner, but I love that track. 

BTF: Are there any tracks you would like to compete at where you have not? 
Aghakhani: Road America and Yas Marina Circuit (Abu Dhabi).

BTF: Of the tracks at which you have competed, which do you enjoy competing at the most? 
Aghakhani: Laguna Seca and COTA but I love all the tracks I compete at because I just love racing.  

BTF: You recently launched a charity called Race For A Cause. What inspired you to launch this charity, and what do you want the average race fan to know as far as why they should contribute to the cause?
Aghakhani: I just think it’s so important to give back. I created “Race For A Cause” with one of my sponsors and family friends to give back, as I have been given so much. I also sponsor a charity called “Armed to Know”, which raises awareness about issues our youth is facing and provide tools and outlets for them to cope. Honestly, the idea around all of this is just to try to help someone in need. My dad just always encourages our family to be grateful and aware of how much this life has given us and our responsibility to reach out and help others in need is a big part of how I was raised. I hope that through doing this charity work other kids will see the example I set and want to help too.

BTF: What advice or pieces of advice would you give to a young child who wants to pursue a racing career?
Aghakhani: If you want something badly enough you can make it happen through hard work and perseverance! 

To read more about Steven Aghakhani and his racing journey, visit his website:

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Thank you to Steven Aghakhani from all of us at Beyond the Flag for being willing to do this interview! Best wishes to him in his future endeavors.