An Interview with Professional Racecar Driver Andre Castro

Over the past three months, I have been honored to work with Andre Castro, a rising star in racecar driving. Born in New York City, he began his passion behind the wheel at the age of seven attending countless go-kart races. He continued to drive go-karts until 2016 when he began racing cars with much success. In fact, that year, he won the Team USA Scholarship and was nominated as one of the top six junior racers in the country. In 2017, he joined Newman Wachs Racing and had an immediate impact on the team. At that year’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, he had two top-ten finishes in four races. Currently, Andre is a student at the University of Chicago majoring in business economics. He is working on getting sponsors so that he can race more on the track. Below are his responses to some of the questions I had for him:

How did you get into go-karts when you were young?

I first started watching racing on my TV when I was six, to the point where I’d be keeping up on news online and watching every weekend. My dad noticed and, not knowing anything about racing, enrolled me in a karting class for young kids at a local track. I won my first race and it just began to escalate from there.

What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses on the track?

I think my greatest strength is that I’m a student of the sport, and I use all the lessons I’ve learned from watching and reading so much about racing over the years. I’m also able to adapt to any car or track quickly, to the point where I can immediately be one of the fastest at a track I’ve never been to before. As for my biggest weaknesses, maybe just my lack of experience! I could never really control that as we always had a pretty tight budget.

Who has inspired you the most to help you be where you are right now?

My parents have always been super supportive and play a big part in my confidence to push forward. I also had a karting mechanic from the ages of 13 to 16 who pushed me to work harder and reach new heights; his tough love attitude was hard sometimes but it taught me a lot. The people I met through my brief time in car racing, including the Team USA Scholarship, also inspired me and taught me about the behind-the-scenes world of professional motorsport.

What do you think is your biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

I’d say it would have to be qualifying for the Team USA Scholarship and then reaching the finalists stage. This program acquainted me with so many players in the business of racing and brought me new exposure; one of the coaches in the final round was multi-time Indy 500 champion and IndyCar champion Gil de Ferran. Being recognized as one of the top young talent in the country gave me the confidence to think that I could turn this into a career.

Aside from racing, what do you plan to do after graduating from UChicago?

That’s a tough one. I’m still finding myself academically, but the area of business economics really interests me as it is essential to understanding how the business of motorsport works. My first goal is to graduate, and after that possibly begin my own racing team or be involved with an established, professional one. But I honestly have no clue what I want to do besides drive! We’ll see in a year or two.

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