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Last drive in car he loved the most

Friends vouch for skill at wheel

Shibaji Roy with his Ferrari in a picture a friend had taken before the drive that culminated in a fatal crash on NH 6 on Sunday morning; (below, in checked shirt) Shibaji’s son, who was in another car. Picture by Sanjoy Chattopadhyaya

Calcutta: Shibaji Roy, the 42-year-old businessman killed in a Ferrari crash on Sunday, was an automotive enthusiast who loved nothing more than taking his newly acquired red California T for a spin on weekends as part of a convoy of supercars.

Shibaji had purchased the Ferrari from a member of the same club around six months ago, adding it to a fleet that includes a Jaguar F-Type coupe. He also owned a Harley-Davidson motorbike.

"Among all his cars, he loved the Ferrari most and would take it out for a morning drive every Sunday," his elder brother Sanjoy, 58, told Metro.

Shibaji, one of the directors of ML Roy & Co Sanitations Pvt Ltd that has multiple showrooms in the city, lived in a three-storey building on Rashbehari Avenue with his family. "He would often take his son or wife with him on his long drives. Since he loved driving, he would also hit the streets late at night," a friend said.

Shibaji's teenaged son had accompanied him on Sunday but was in another car on the return journey when the car crashed into a flyover on National Highway 6, near Salap in Howrah.

People close to Shibaji vouched for his skills at the wheel, describing him as a disciplined driver who would never make a reckless manoeuvre on the road.

He had visited the Buddh International Circuit in Delhi for a course in circuit driving, a friend said.

Shibaji's convertible was part of a seven-car convoy of sports cars that had reached the Cafe Coffee Day outlet on the Durgapur Expressway, around 60km from the city, on Sunday.

As usual, the group spent some time at the pit stop and posed for pictures with their cars, one of which shows a smiling Shibaji (see picture above) standing beside the Ferrari in denims and a pink T-shirt.

"He had been driving sports cars since 2011 and there was no road incident involving him until this tragedy today," said a friend who in the group.

News of the crash spread rapidly over social media, leaving almost everyone who knew Shibaji in disbelief that he could be involved in a fatal car accident. Members of the Facebook forum Indian Roadie were among the first to put up pictures of the mangled Ferrari at the crash site and discuss what might have led to the accident.

In Calcutta, a host of friends and relatives converged on CMRI, where Shibaji was brought dead after being extricated from the car. "He was a very jolly person who would always make people around him laugh. We have been numbed by the news of his death," said a relative who did not wish to be named.

Shibaji was an alumnus of South Point High School.

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