Monday, June 24, 2024

Gandhi’s car, vintage beauties in pre-race parade


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New Delhi: India’s brush with classic automobiles will complete a historic journey when 28 vintage and classic automobiles dating from 1920-70 take the roll of honour at the F1 Drivers’ Parade on Friday.

The vehicles, registerred with the Heritage Motoring Club of India, will carry 24 F1 racers from 12 teams, including Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Nico Rosberg, N. Karthikeyan and Adrian Sutil.

Auto-collector and restorer Awini Ambuj Shankar will drive Ferrari racer Fernando Alonso in his 1930 Studebaker Commander – a family heirloom – that drove Mahatma Gandhi from an area behind Birla Temple to a house in Daryaganj, an old Delhi neighbourhood.

“Considering that Gandhiji rode in my car, Alonso is a lesser celebrity. The car belongs to my great-grandfather. I even have an autograph of Mahatma Gandhi that my father collected,” Shanker told IANS.

Each vehicle will be driven by an expert driver experienced in restoring and driving vintage and classic cars.

The F1 Drivers’ Parade – a traditional kick-off ritual – is a pre-race parade of racers in the fray. It allows viewers to get a dekko of their favourite man on the circuit. F1 is being held in India for the first time at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida.

In India, the parade will host the fleet of old automobiles which will do the inaugural lap of 5.137 km track at 20 kmph per hour.

Diljeet Titus, the general secretary of Heritage Motoring Club of India, will drive Mercedes champion racer Michael Schumacher in his 1931 sparkling black-and-silver Stutz Speedster – which wrested top slots at the Indianapolis race in the US and Le Mans race in Europe in its heyday.

“The track at the Buddh International Circuit is one of the fastest in the world where you can notch up to 310 km per hour,” Titus said. (IANS)


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