BKC BITS: Heart-in-mouth experience for some

Sep 17, 2012, 08:24 IST | Ashwin Ferro

The best experience at yesterday's Lewis Hamilton street race was shared by the three lucky winners of a promotional contest who got the opportunity to drive alongside Hamilton

The winners comprised two guys and a girl and Hamilton being the charmer that he is, picked the girl to sit in the front seat right next to him as he sped along the track in a Mercedes AMG sports car.

A hoarding with pictures of Hamilton (right) and F1 cars at Marine Drive was displayed at the Bandra Kurla Complex yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble

The moment of the drive however came when the Briton stopped dead in his tracks and then reversed in full speed for a good 100 metres or so. “I was wondering why he suddenly stopped… and then he immediately took off backwards… my heart was in my mouth as I thought for a moment that we were going to crash,” said Wafaa, the young girl accompanying Hamilton. Obviously, no one crashed and the speed thrill will only ensure the youngsters live happily ever after.

Bhujbal enjoys the noise factor
Public Works Department (PWD) and state minister for tourism Chhagan Bhujbal played a big hand in facilitating the street race at Bandra Kurla Complex yesterday. And, he was happy with what he saw of the night drive. “The arrangements are very good… very well organised,” Bhujbal was heard telling one of the organisers trackside. “But just one thing,” he continued even as the listener waited with bated breath to hear what may have irked the influential politician.

“The noise of the car was just a bit too much na,” he said as he laughed heartily much to the relief of the official.

Race at BKC, but pics show Marine Drive
The Lewis Hamilton street race was originally slated to be held at the iconic Marine Drive before local resident associations refused to co-operate, forcing the event to be moved to Bandra-Kurla Complex at the last minute. However, there was not enough time for some of the promotional hoardings of the event to be changed.

The 100-odd hoardings that lined up both sides of the 1.5km track at BKC yesterday had pictures of Hamilton with Marine Drive in the background. “There are nearly 200 hoardings (with the Marine Drive backdrop) which were printed over a week back. They obviously could not be changed two days before the event (when the shift in venue was announced,” admitted one of the volunteers.

‘I’ll lose to ’em on Mumbai roads’
During his pre-race media briefing yesterday, McLaren Mercedes ace Lewis Hamilton had journalists in splits as he spoke of the Mumbai traffic and its chaos. When asked if he’d prefer driving on Mumbai roads, Hamilton replied: “I don’t even prefer driving on the M25 (a prominent highway in the UK) given the traffic there, but Mumbai is totally different.

“I think you’ve got to have some really good drivers here to negotiate the kind of traffic you have. In a race on Mumbai’s roads I think I’d surely lose to any of the local drivers here.” 

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