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First-hand experience to drive formula car was incredible: Sachin Tendulkar

Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar showcases his driving skills during the MRF Challenge motor-racing series in Chennai yesterday. Pic/Kanika Atre 

Chennai: Sachin Tendulkar, the master of the straight drive, put his driving skills on the race-track to the test, slipping behind the wheel of a specially-prepared racecar at the season finale of the MRF Challenge motor-racing series in Chennai yesterday.

Tendulkar was a special guest at the event that saw Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time F1 world champion Michael, Harrison Newey, son of Red Bull design guru Adrian and up and coming Australian star Joey Mawson fight it out for the championship.

Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar showcases his driving skills during the MRF Challenge motor-racing series in Chennai yesterday. Pic/Kanika Atre

He arrived Sunday morning and was enveloped by a throng of journalists, photographers and fans as soon as he got out of his white BMW.

He was then shown around the pits and paddock, where he met Schumacher Jr. and other drivers, before then watching them race from the top of the control centre tower, and handed out the trophies to the top-three on the podium.

After the race, he swapped his white MRF t-shirt for a helmet and racing overalls and took to the Madras Motor Race Track in a specially prepared two-seater with a friend strapped in alongside.

Tendulkar completed about ten laps across three runs.

The car stopped out on track on his second run. Marshals rushed to the spot only to take selfies with the stranded cricketer before eventually helping get his car started again.

“The experience here was fabulous,” Tendulkar, pursued all throughout by a throng of admirers, told journalists just as he was leaving shortly after lunch.

“I have always been a car enthusiast. So the first-hand experience to drive a formula car on this track was incredible.

“I thoroughly enjoyed myself.”

Tendulkar, who retired in 2013, also hailed the Indian test team’s achievement of going 19 tests without being beaten, although he declined to compare teams across eras.

“I have always believed in this team and a long time ago I have said that this team is going to play together for a long, long time to come and dominate world cricket,” he said.

“It is about preparation. Results always follow preparation and the preparation has been good. I am enjoying the way guys have played.”

On track, Newey was crowned the MRF Challenge champion. The Briton tied on points with Mawson but was declared champion on account of having scored seven wins to Mawson’s three.

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