Calcutta: Karting the willow way, there were four superstars from the cricketing world racing away merrily in Chennai Sunday.
According to reports reaching here on the MRF Formule Mondiale karting championship at Danny’s Karting Centre, Sachin Tendulkar took charge immediately to establish a winning lead before slowing down for the rest (Brian Lara, Steve Waugh and Dennis Lillee) to catch up and lead in a formation, much to the delight of the huge crowd.
So why did the batting maestro slow down on the last of the eight laps' “It was not pre-planned, but I did it in honour of the great cricketers who raced with me. Steve Waugh had an engine problem, and but for that, I think, it could have been a different story,” he said.
Lillee, who practised before the race, shunted Lara, and later said in jest that Steve had “asked me to take out Sachin, but I took out Lara by mistake.”
In the race proper, 16-year-old Deepak Paul Chinnappa, a 16-year old from Bangalore, made it a start-to-finish affair, sparing nearly a second to the experienced Raymond Banajee of Pune (who won the Ahmedabad leg of the JK Tyre national championship last year) who was followed by Jigar Muni of Mumbai (who had emerged champion in the Mumbai leg of the JK Tyre meet last year).
However, in the showcase event of Asian Zone National Karting Championship race, run over 20 laps, Muni drove brilliantly to win by a huge margin. Off to a fine start, Muni gradually drew away from the field and showed good skills, especially on the corners.