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Updated: June 13, 2013 20:49 IST

Amer's tryst with speed

PRABALIKA M. BORAH
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Amer Beg, driver of the Super Trofeo Lamborgini series, from Hyderabad.
Nagara Gopal Amer Beg, driver of the Super Trofeo Lamborgini series, from Hyderabad.

Amer Beg, the first Indian to participate in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Series, talks about how he made the best use of his resources to zoom his way to into the fast lane to leave a mark on the Indian and the international racing circuit.

If you want to meet someone who can humbly ‘talk’ about himself, it has to be Amer Beg. Amer Beg who? A racing enthusiast who isn’t just new to the racing circuit but is one of the best in the country. And yet, we hear very little of this Hyderabadi who sometimes love to hop on to a bus for a joyride-cum-grocery shopping and thinks the city’s autowalas are amazingly talented in handling speed and time. He enjoys his bus rides despite owning a sports version of a high-end car and an open jeep.

He began humbly on the track and says he could not imagine how he would have continued, had the Gujarati family in Canada not requested him to train their kid in racing. He recollects how he could withstand the pain of two broken ribs and still race with a plaster made of flour and eggs because he didn’t have enough time to make the rounds of the public health care system in Canada.

Automobiles and speed are some of the things Amer is passionate about and almost after a lull of two years, what drew racing enthusiasts’ interest in this Hyderabadi is the fact that Amer Beg has become the first Indian to participate in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Series.

He raced in the season opener at the Shanghai International Circuit and Amer’s driving skills got him spotted almost instantly.

Amer Beg, who has half a dozen other motorsports titles under his belt, was given this opportunity by Lamborghini India. Lamborghini Super Trofeo Series is considered to be the fastest one-design series in the world (where all the vehicles are of the same make and same specifications). “The participating race cars in the series are Lamborghini Gallardo 570-4 Super Trofeo. And me getting on the list of drivers was luck after sponsors turned us down. I was fortunate enough be known in the circuit and when the CEO of Lamborghini said he wanted me to represent Lamborghini India as India is an emerging market, it was like a dream come true. The company did everything possible to accommodate me and I was racing with racing giants and legends who have been my idol for years,” says Amer.

Amer’s tryst on the fast lane happened with him following TV shows on rallies and races in the good old cable TV days. “I was a sports TV buff following the drivers on TV and reading up on them on the magazines those days. But since my parents were not too keen on me racing and burning rubber I held my horses till I could get on to a real cart and feel the real energy of racing,” recollects Amer.

After he landed in Canada to pursue higher education, Amer found the right opportunity to try and romance speed. He would race on weekends and during one such race “someone handed over a piece of paper which said, ‘if you think you can race, be here.’”

Amer reached the appointed spot and what does he see, “it is a race where 2214 drivers were participating out of which 800 were veterans and the rest rookies. I was a rookie but I wasn’t thinking about anything. I just wanted to race and get the feel of it. At the end of all the lapses I was in the top 50 and qualified for the finals. And I won that race,” says Amer.

From there on Amer went on to win the Canadian National Championship and Amer was sure he would juggle being a finance manger with a motor company and being a racer. “I basically worked to make ends meet for my races, cart, tyres and all that. My life revolved around the kart track,” he smiles.

In the meantime Amer wasn’t really leading a comfortable life because all his earning were to be saved for his Kart needs. What he says is hard to believe but the logic works, “I was too full of ego to seek help from parents and I was too hooked on to my interest to give up. I would save every penny for the tyres, fuel etc and I would think twice before eating a three-dollar McDonald meal at one go. If I ate the fries for dinner, I would save the burger for breakfast,” recollects Amer.

Amer, now father of a little less than a month old baby girl says he regrets none of the hardship as it only taught him to be better at what he does. And this applies to the fact that the couple is trying to manage home all on their own. “Our mother brought us up with no people attending to us all the time and that is how I want to bring up my daughter. As a couple we are managing and as time goes by we should be experts,” says Amer. But just because he loved to speed on the track doesn’t make Amer a party boy. On the contrary he is quite a shy guy and loves being home and spend time with family. “My wife Sana is adjusting to this as well. She is a great partner.”

On his friends

Amer Beg says he would always be grateful to actor Dia Mirza for her help to raise money for his sponsorship. Dia is Amer's buddy and Amer and his wife loves having her around at their house. The other person who always saw to it that Amer makes it to the racing arena without much financial glitch is Rohit Reddy. For Amer these two people along with the Gujarati couple in Canada have been most helpful to promote his racing career. “The Gujarati couple was kind enough to tug my cart on their trailer when I didn’t know how to ferry it as I couldn’t afford to even hire one,” says Amer.

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