Race driver-turned-coach, who is training
He is one of the most respected names in
motor-sport coaching and he has been the trainer
and manager for many motor-racing champs. Akbar
Ebrahim, race driver-turned-coach, who also runs
the Advanced Driving & Corporate Academy has got a
new challenge in his hands. To train Ajith Kumar,
popular actor of Tamil films, to be a champ in the
motor-racing circuit. Ebrahim talks about his
tie-up with Ajith and his plans for the actor.
his tie-up with Ajith: Ajith has had a
passion for racing, since he was a child. He has
taken part in two-wheeler racing, but then a
four-wheeler is a four wheeler! Ajith wanted to be
more seriously involved in motor sporting. Itís
good for motor sport that Ajith is getting into it.
When he approached me to train him and develop his
racing skills, I was willing. He is serious,
committed and a willing learner. This is probably
going to be one of the most challenging jobs I
have ever taken up in motor racing as coach,
manager or driver. Itís challenging, since Ajith
already has a huge fan following and the positive
& negative publicity a film star gets in the media
and press is something I have to be very conscious
about, and not let it interfere with my job.
On the training: He has already
participated in the round 1 of the JK Tyre
(Formula Maruti) National championship, and he
really did well for a first timer. He will take
part in the remaining four rounds spread over
Oct-Nov-Dec. Meanwhile, heíll be into a five-day
intensive training programme with me.
The races Ajith would participate in:
On completing the programme, Ajith would be sent to
take part in the competition in the Formula Asia
Car championship at Zuhai-China. Heíll be made to
give a test in the Formula Asia Car raced by last
yearís Champion Karun Chandhok in Zuhai. This will
be sometime in October, and it is mainly to give
Ajith an exposure to a bigger racing car, and
prepare him for the Formula Asia Macau Gold cup in
November. Macao will prepare him for the coming
year's Asian Championship, for it would give him
complete exposure to International Motor-sport.
Parasuram would be providing the car and other
hardware to give the best package to Ajith.
On how he rates Ajith: Ours is a
professional school. The very fact that he has
shown interest despite his busy schedule, speaks
volumes about his commitment. His dedication and
his simplicity in his approach is what interested
me. Motor racing is probably one of the toughest
sports. Ií m a tough task-master. Ajith finished
16th in the first round, and should finish in the
top ten. As we go along I can still push him
On Ajithís lack of training before going to
Macao: (unlike Karun, Asif and others who
were well trained before the Macao trip). Ií m
using Macao only as a training ground for Ajith. He
has to just finish that race. I have no other
expectations. The next championship is in March
next year. So Macao is the only ground for him to
test in. If he just manages to finish the race,
Iíll have a lot of respect for him.
Isnít the age of entry important? The general norm
today is that you start racing when you are 16-17.
And if youíve not achieved anything by 23-24, you
quit. But I got into international racing when I
was 28. Ajith has already got a serious profession,
and heís now into another serious profession. If
he is fit enough, if heís got the right package
and money he can go far. There are a lot of
drivers in the world who are very quick and young.
But at the end of the day, itís one with a good
package who comes on top.