Doohan jr wants to build on Schumi’s gift
CHENNAI: Following in father’s footsteps is common in various spheres of life, and sports, especially motorsport is famous for that. Graham and Damon Hill, Gilles and Jacques Villeneuve, Keke and Nico Rosberg, Michael and Mick Schumacher are some of the famous instances where the son has carried forward the legacy in Formula One.
Jack Doohan is doing the same, albeit a bit differently. Son of Australia’s five-time Motogp world champion Mick Doohan, Jack is not interested in two-wheelers where his father won five consecutive world titles, from 1994 to 1998. His passion is four-wheels.
“Racing was in the blood, wasn’t it? With my dad on the bikes, I grew up around something rolling; doesn’t matter whether it was two or four-wheelers,” says Jack.
Jack isn’t bothered about emulating the Kenny Roberts fatherson act. The Americans are the only father and son to have both won World Championships in Motogp.
Jack Doohan’s love for fourwheelers has a strong reason -Michael Schumacher gifted him a go-kart on his fifth birthday. In awe of the Ferrari seven-time F1 champion, the 16-year-old has started entering single-seater racing. “There’s a small track at the back of our house where my mates would go-kart. Then Michael Schumacher bought me a go-kart and I was always going around on that and (my career) really took off from there,” said Jack, who is here to take part in the final round of the 2018-19 MRF Challenge. “I want to race in Formula 1 like Schumacher. My dad is also a big inspiration. I have in him someone to give me advice and he knows the key to succeed in motor racing.”
Jack started out on dirt bikes, which he still rides when at home during the off-season. But some serious injuries at a young age led Mick to persuade his son to take up the ‘safer’ option.
“It wasn’t a conscious decision. He hurt himself on a dirt bike when he was young. To learn to be good on a motorcycle, you have to make a lot of mistakes, and every mistake on a bike means you crash,” says Mick,