He may have enacted many a car chase in reel life, but when he got behind the wheel of a race car for the first time in real life, actor Purab Kohli realised just how challenging a motorsport weekend can be.
The Rock On!! actor took part in the Volkswagen Polo R Cup race during the fourth round of the JK Tyre National Racing Championship at the MMST circuit here on Sunday. Although he finished 19th in the 20-car race he said the experience stood him in good stead, a fact that could be gauged by his triumph in the Polo Cup bosses race later - where he beat, among others, FMSCI president Vicky Chandhok, and CEOs of companies like Woodland, Jet Airways and Swarovski to the chequered flag.
The actor, whose stint behind the wheel will be seen on the small screen as part of a new travel show he will be hosting, had new-found respect for the professional drivers after his first outing in a motorsport event. "I see F1 regularly on television, and a few other motorsport series. I have to say it's far more challenging than it looks on TV," he told HT. "The drivers are really good. Physically also I didn't expect it to be this challenging - I know now why they call it the 'hot seat'. I must have sweated away at least a couple of kilos."
The actor also had to face the ignominy of being lapped in the 10-lap race, something that didn't really catch him off guard. "When you look at the way these guys (Polo Cup drivers) handle the cars you get an insight into the kind of motorsport talent that is there in the country. When the leaders came up to lap me, I made way and let them pass, trying my best not to slow them down," he said.
He was no match for the professionals, but by the time the bosses race came arou-nd, he was reeling one fast lap after another.
(The writer's trip has been sponsored by JK Tyre)