City anchor: Narain Karthikeyan, Karun Chandhok to jam together at ROC weekend
- Winter session Day 1: Govt talks about misuse of word 'secularism', Sonia raises 'intolerance' debate
- Sheena murder: CBI seeks Interpol help, Peter Mukerjea's custody extended till Nov 30
- PPCC chief Bajwa and Jakhar made to resign as rejig in Punjab Congress imminent
- Constitution Day: The many reasons why the BJP decided to celebrate it
- India-Pakistan series to be played from December 15 in Sri Lanka: Rajiv Shukla
Narain Karthikeyan's excited he could be racing superbikes for a day if it gets penned into the programme, while Karun Chandhok's thrilled he could be astride any of those fancy Bat-Mobile like contraptions, not to mention some seasoned sedans, world Rally cars and the typical Race of Champions (ROC) buggy car when the two jam together for the ROC weekend in Bangkok, where the Indian 'team' debuts amidst some of motorsport's biggest names.
Michael Schumacher, of course, has famously put off bidding a complete adieu to race-cars until next year so that he can win 7 ROC titles — seven being his favourite number. And Sebastian Vettel will join him for a dream German team in the second-day Nations Cup. But this coming weekened in Thailand will mark a first appearance for the Indian duo — arguably motorsport's most recognised faces in India post their Formula One stints — even as the ROC, a "serious fun event" as Narain describes it enters its 25th year.
The ROC is a gala-like season-ending melting pot for the who's who of motorsport going beyond F1. It brings together heroes from vrooming machines' many outposts including world rally, touring cars, Le Mans, MotoGP, Indycar and the X-Games.
It pits drivers head-to-head in identical machinery.
After pit-stopping at London's Wembley Stadium (2007-2008), Beijing's 'Bird's Nest' Olympic Stadium (2009) and Dusseldorf's ESPRIT arena (2010-2011), ROC 2012 will now be held on a tarmac track with two parallel lanes winding their way round Bangkok's Rajamangala Stadium.
"It's hosted football matches," Narain says, curious about how the weekend will turn out, since stadium racing's vastly different from circuit racing.
A football stadium race
"Racing lanes will be much narrower," Chandhok adds. "Slower in speed, and tricky." Built for the 1998 Asian Games, the 50,000-capacity stadium hosts pop concerts and even political rallies, but will be perhaps Asia's biggest star-gazing venue for motorsport buffs.
- Why every patriot should be worried, and, yes, ashamed
- Douglass North emphasised institutions when markets were the focus
- ‘Bovine Divine’ controversy lurched between the horrific and the comic
- PM Modi’s achievements abroad appear to cut little ice back home
- Post 13/11 sloganeering at Antalya and Kuala Lumpur won’t be enough
- Can Parliament be insulated from the vagaries of the political climate?