Ajith and his new passion
 

Source: Chennaionline

 published on 02nd Oct 2002

 

It is difficult to slot him. He had a passion for motor-bikes and even took part in the two-wheeler race at Sholavaram, a decade back. Then he took to acting with the same passion, and has since carved a niche for himself as one of the top actors among the younger crop of heroes. And when one thought that he could be consolidating his position, what with so many young fresh faces entering into the acting arena, he has surprised us yet again. He took up flying, and is just an hourís experience away from getting his driving licence! And there is more. He has taken up motor sporting and has tied up with Akbar Ebrahim of the ADCA (Advanced Driving & Corporate Academy Private Limited) to train him and develop his racing skills. 

Meet Ajith Kumar, actor, to-be-pilot, racing driver. Ajith chats about his new passion and juggling of careers.

On why he is doing it: 

I have been passionate about racing, since childhood. People who know me close, like my family and friends, know this to be a fact. In fact, before I joined films, I has participated in an international two-wheeler race. I was determined to follow it up again, when I had enough money. For, motor sport is an expensive affair. 

On his films having flopped: 

Not at all! If that was the case I would have taken up motor sporting, when five of my films flopped last year. I have seen both success and failure. Hits and flops donít matter to me any more.

On the diverse professions:

The movie industry is in many ways like motor racing. There is a lot of co-relation between the two. A good actor can at times rise above a bad script and get noticed. Again, a bad actor however good a script, can make a mess of it. Similarly, a good driver can make it at times, despite having a bad car and vice versa. But ultimately, what counts in both is the right package!

On his juggling careers:

Movie is my bread and butter. And Iíve to live up to an image. Iíve planned to do not more than two films a year. I want the right package, both in films and in racing. We have a race spread over seven months and it suits my acting career. It wonít be easy balancing both, but Iím determined to do it. It wonít affect my family life either. 

On pushing himself: 

All the way! My wife Shalini knows how committed I am when I take up something. I am learning flying and Iím just an hour away from my pilotís license. 

On his choice of coach:

Motor sports like any other needs not only dedication, but also a good coach. So when I planned to enter into it, Akbar was the one I thought of. Iíve known him since his cricket days. Iíve been following his racing career, and seen him race at Sholavaram. He has trained others before me, and I think heís the best to train me.

On the age factor:

I know that drivers today start early, in their 16s and 17s. I am thirty years old, but today racing is much safer than what it was earlier. Further a five-time champion, started the age of 38. Though I am persuading Akbar to make it move fast, we are taking one step at a time.

On the financial aspect:

Sponsors are talking to us. Weíll have to discuss this. Some may be coming only because Iím a film star. I donít want to set a bad example. Iím particular that no one gets a raw deal. Akbar will be managing my career in motor racing and heíll do whatís best for us and the sport.

On his racing position in 2003:

I really donít know. I donít want to speculate. I donít want to talk big or give false hopes. Let me come to 2003 and then we will see!

Malini Mannath 

 

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