CHENNAI: Off the track, Vinay Gundecha (COEP) and Ratna Mitesh (SRM) are always laughing at each other’s jokes. Roomies for the half a week that they spent tinkering around their proud custom-made cars, the two drivers gave the crowd their sole dosage of adrenaline-pumping action on Sunday.
The two auto engineers, from two corners of the country, took off 10 seconds apart and were specifically told that this wasn’t a race, but an exhibition - but what ensued, was as good as an old Hakkinen-Schumaker asphalt burner. The two cars matched each other for speed and despite the time lag, Mitesh took SRM’s white race car and tried to overtake his friend through five long circuitous laps - all the while drawing oohs and aahs from the audience, every time he inched close to Gundecha’s fender, “There just weren’t enough straight stretches here and those cones really made things difficult. I was pretty close at some times, but...,” trails off Mitesh with a smile.
He needn’t have worried too much. For the third year running, SRM’s team took the championship at a canter and has done the city proud with their feat. So where will Mitesh be after the celebrations on Monday? “At work! There’s a whole lot to be done,” he says.