Behind every successful man, there's a woman, goes the adage. It appears to be true in the case of Tamil film actor Ajith. The actor, who turned his attention to motorsport a few years ago, has now started to make an impression in the highly competitive sport. Currently participating in the British Formula 3 Championship (Scholarship Class), zoomed to a podium finish in one of the races held at Knockhill, Sunday.
Some of the credit for Ajith's success in the motorsport, which he calls his passion, must go to his wife Shalini, an actress herself. When the actor took to motorsport a couple of years ago, Shalini provided staunch support in the face of early reverses.
It must be said that the actor, who devoted more time to motorsport, soldiered on bravely, overcoming several odds. And, the podium finish in the race at the tricky Knockhill circuit in Scotland, must have been heartening for Shalini, who herself is into badminton these days and aspires to represent the State in the future.
An elated Shalini says, 'I feel proud to see Ajith emerge with flying colours in an internationally competitive race. I am happy to see him bringing laurels to the nation'.
'Initially, I was tensed when he decided to venture into motorsport, since everyone knows it is quite a dangerous sport. But I was convinced that his enthusiasm and passion for the sport would see him through', she adds.
Excerpts from the interview
On Ajith's venture to motorsports?
Ajith has a great passion for motor racing even before venturing into films. He established himself as a popular actor among the fans. Later, when he decided to realise his passion, I was really scared.
Everyone knows it is a dangerous sport. Convinced by his confidence and enthusiasm, I decided that I should not worry and rather encourage him in his endeavour.
How did it feel to see Ajith taking his car on the grid for the first time?
He started off with the National Motor Racing Championship at Irrungattukottai and did well. It was both happy and tense for me to see him drive past the chequered flag in the races. He did remarkably well in the races. He followed it with his participation in Formula BMW Series races. After a decent show, now he is doing his best in the British Formula 3 Scholarship class races.
How does he balance acting and motorsport?
He really puts in a lot of hard work to balance both and travels madly. After weekend races, he rushes to Chennai catching connection flights and upon reaching Chennai goes to shootings to complete his movies. Again by the weekend, he catches his flights goes to the racing circuits, practises hard and gets ready for the D-day. His zeal to achieve and sheer enthusiasm keeps him going.
Has he motivated you take to motorsport?
I took part in a women's car rally and managed to do well in the novice category. But I am more passionate about badminton. I am undergoing serious training. I want to make a mark in the sport. I practise with few players, who are representing the State.
How's Ajith as an actor for you?
He is a matured actor now. He has improved his dancing, stunts and does them gracefully. I don't interfere in his profession. I just help him. He is more matured than what I saw him a few years ago.
-M BHARAT KUMARr