Waking up to the news that a former teammate, fellow competitor and friend had lost his life in a road accident, was not the way I expected my weekend to begin. Ashwin and I go back to the early 2000s when we shared a go-kart in an endurance series. We were innocent kids soaking in the joys of driving and we couldn’t wait to grow up and driver bigger, better and faster race cars in India and around the world.
Fast forward to 2009, we both found ourselves representing VW India in the Polo Cup in Germany. We visited some great circuits and drove some great races together. Yes, he was a ruthless and fearless driver and would never give up without a fight.
No matter how bitter things got on track, we’d still sit together on the dinner table at the end of the day and have a good laugh over a good meal.
Looking back at all those times we shared the same room, it would annoy me that Ashwin wouldn’t stop talking till way past midnight before a race weekend. But now, all those laughs we had are nothing but pleasant memories.
Ashwin was always one of those guys who put personal relationships and friendships aside when he got in a race car. On track, he was a fierce competitor and off track he was a friend and a mentor to everyone who knew him. Even on a bike, he was hard to catch. Second was never an option to him, be it on two wheels or four. Anybody who raced against him knew that about him.
Indian motorsport has lost a fine driver and family member. All our prayers are with his family and may the souls of Ashwin and Niveditha rest in peace.
Aditya Patel is a Chennai-based motorsport driver, who has competed in the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup, Polo Cup,Formula BMW Pacific and the 24 hours of Nurburgring.
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Updated Date: Mar 21, 2017 15:02:45 IST