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SPEED MERCHANT Ace driver Mazdayar Vatcha
SPEED MERCHANT Ace driver Mazdayar Vatcha

Mazdayar Vatcha has put his life into motor sport. He now plans to train youngsters with a passion for the sport

Who do you think you are? Mazdayar Vatcha?’ This is a catchphrase, often used by police in Hyderabad when warning people caught driving too fast. Motocross, Go-Karting, Formula racing, rallying events. Mazdayar Vatcha is perhaps the only Indian to participate and win in all forms of motor sports.

He was here in the city recently for the National Go Karting Championship. His mission was to help the Motorsport Association of Kerala, who were organising this event for the first time. Vatcha was here with two of his karts, set up the track and even ran a training camp for the local participants.

“I have not just put my mind and effort into the sport. I have put my life into it. Need I say more?” he says. Then, after a pause adds, “it is an obsession fuelled from racing with friends on the streets with whom later I entered in many of the events.”

Early days

Vatcha started off on his father’s old Rajdoot GTS, which he inherited when his father moved to a Kinetic Honda. For competitions he rode his friend’s Yamaha RX in the 100cc category and once even even took his father’s Kinetic Honda, without he knowing it. And Vatcha picked up a trophy in each category beating top Hyderabadi names in the circuit.

Racing is an expensive career and Vatcha’s parents did not approve of their son’s fad. Fortunately, He was able to pursue his passion with the help of his friends. He used take loans from them with the promise of returning them after a competition. Very often he paid them back with the trophies he won.

Soon Vatcha’s exploits on the track began to be recognised. He started getting support from sponsors. From then on Vatcha did not turn back. He won one event after another to finally be crowned national champion.

Vatcha, who started off with dirt tracks, moved to Motocross and bike rallying. He even did Mileage Challenge events where he did a record 243 kmpl on his Kawasaki Bajaj. He then moved on to Circuit Racing, Go-Karting, Car Rallying and Car Racing. In his 17-year career Vatcha has been a model of consistency. Ask him about the events he has won and this racer timidly tells you that he just cannot remember the number.

Dangers

Racing is a sport that can be dangerous at times. For Vatcha Chikmagalur 2006 remains unforgettable. It was a torrid rally. He first dislocated his thumb, then the brakes failed and then, due to a sheared bolt, the car refused to steer left. “I had no steering to the left. It would rotate infinitely to the left while the car still continued to go straight. Besides that, the brakes failed too. I can never forget how I continued to drive and was even more amazed to find myself in third place despite of all the problems.”

Vatcha who has an icon status among new generation racers, is now in the process of putting together a good training school to give proper guidance to new talents, So that “they don’t have to struggle the way I did.” He hopes to start the school by the end of April.

For aspiring young drivers Vatcha has this advice. “Study the requirements, work towards meeting them, build your bikes or cars properly and be committed. Most importantly live clean, no drinking or smoking and don’t race on the streets.”

He believes that the problems faced by youngsters in the country is lack of proper guidance, poor vehicle preparation and, most importantly, financial backup. “It is difficult to get sponsors in this cricket crazed country, when even top level cricket doesn’t take even a small percentage of the skill of an average racer.”

The figure-head of motor racing sets his eyes on the future. “Very soon we’ll have plenty of young talent in this sport. There is nothing like watching the riders zip past at dizzying speeds,” Vatcha winds off.

ANUROOP SUNDAR

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