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March past of uber wheels

Two Jaguar F-types, a BMW 640d, a Jaguar XJ-SS and a Porsche Boxster were among nearly 50 cars that drove in a convoy from Prinsep Ghat to Azad Hind Dhaba on NH2 for the I-Day Run on Sunday, organised by the Elite Car Club Kolkata (ECCK).

“Every Sunday, a handful of supercar owners, who are members of ECCK, go for a drive. The one on Sunday was different. This was huge. We had asked all our members via Facebook to participate… and most of them did,” said Rohin Raj Sureka, a 19-year-old student in Drexel University, Philadelphia, who owns a Mercedes-Benz E250 CDi.

ECCK has 3,000-plus members, not all of them necessarily luxury car owners “but passionate about cars”. Of them, 1,953 are on the Facebook page of the group.

“We are an open group, most of our interaction happens via social media… we ask questions, have owner reviews, updates on new launches or who’s bought what in the city,” said Saurabh Poddar, 20-something and a biz student in London’s Brunel University.

Rajsureka along with Poddar are the drivers behind ECCK with Rishi Raj Lohia, Amit Modi, Parveen Agarwal, Arijit Saha providing support.

The I-Day Run tested their organising skills as well. “We sent out forms to those who wanted to participate. Names of cars, their make, model, and registration numbers were sought and detailed guidelines were given which could not be broken,” said Rishi.

“We are not into racing. So a speed limit of 80-100kmph was set. Cars were numbered and they had to travel in a convoy. No one could overtake. There were two pilot cars, one leading and the other bringing up the rear, together with a safety car and a media car,” said Poddar. The onus, in case of accidents, was not on the club but the driver.

“There was a bikers’ ride too. We gave strict instructions to all car owners to let the bikes pass to avoid any untoward incident,” Rajsureka said.

The club also organises supercar shows. “We did a show at Calcutta Swimming Club (CSC) in March where all supercar owners displayed their vehicles. There were three Ferraris, one Lambo, Jags and Porsches. Even the Jaguar, Mercedes, Audi and Porsche dealers were present,” said Poddar. “The aim is to let the members of CSC and others see the cars. For many it’s a dream to have such cars,” said Poddar.

The ECCK members want to shift gear and be like Gautam Singhania’s SuperCar Club India in Mumbai. “Shows and races are organised on a bigger scale there with 40-50 Lambos participating. They book Mahalaxmi Racing Course for their drives, generating a lot of enthusiasm about supercars cars in the city,” said Rishi.