CHENNAI: This Dravidian land holds a unique distinction when it comes to motorsports. With minimal facilities and infrastructure, it has managed to produce world-class talent. With Narain Karthikeyan making significant progress in the world of Formula one and Karun Chandok impressing with every race, Chennai has become the motor sports capital of India. So, the city was the natural choice when Vodafone wanted to present a few lucky winners with a life-time experience; a ride with the youngest Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton.

Professional racers, beer guzzlers at F1 screenings, Lewis Hamilton fans, Alonso and Schumacher fans, Mercedes fans and automobile enthusiasts gathered at the race track in Irungattu Kottai, to see him work the engines of his Mercedes. He landed in a chopper, waved at the crowds, never removed his shades and never missed an opportunity to make a fan happy. The super star had arrived and he behaved like one throughout.

Few lucky winners were taken on a 2-lap ride on the two-seater Mercedes SLK. A bloke from Mumbai who was lucky enough to be on the same car as Lewis Hamilton exclaimed, “I can’t believe he did 180KMPH on the turn.” Chiyaan Vikram’s participation was kept under wraps and he was one among those to ride with Lewis Hamilton. He joked “Lewis was talking about his girl friend and about his life in UK, all this while clocking 170 KMPH.”

Lewis had to change his car twice, as it couldn’t live upto to his expectations; the experience of seeing him drive from close quarters exceeded a layman’s expectation. The crowd felt the rush of adrenaline the moment he revved up the engine. And, when he did a 360 degree wheel spin, they had got what they wanted.

But one guy from the crowd stood out, he called Lewis’ name and said “Hey Lewis, I love Alonso!”