In his 78 years on the planet, Dr SK Maini had never seen a motorsport race. When the septuagenarian finally did, in the JK Tyre National Rotax Max Karting Championship at the Meco Motorsport karting track here on Sunday, it was worth the wait as his grandchildren, Kush and Arjun, won the drivers' championship in the micro max and junior max categories respectively.
Dr Maini's son, Gautam, was a keen racer himself - having made his debut in 1992 at the Sriperumbudur circuit alongside a then 15-year-old Narain Karthikeyan. And while his father may have never come to any of his races, Gautam was thrilled that he was there for the crowning glory of his two boys. "I'm proud of my boys, but the icing on the cake was my dad flying down to catch the action," Gautam told Hindustan Times.
The two kids too were overjoyed that their 'pappy' was there to see them clinch the title.
Kush, 10, and Arjun, 12, have been groomed for a career in motorsport from an early age. "I've been training them from a very early age, they began karting when they were five," said the proud father.
The brothers have also competed in international karting championships, something that stood them in good stead ahead of the national karting championship.
Gautam's case has been bolstered by sponsors showing interest in his two children. "Café Coffee Day are sponsoring my two boys, it's great that sponsors are coming forward," he said.
Amid the joy over the double triumph, there's a cause for concern. Next year, the brothers will be competing against each other in the junior max category. Not that either is bothered by that. "We'll be fighting for the top spot in the championship, but at the end of the day we're brothers and will help the other out, whether it's spotting the errors the other is making or keeping the other drivers at bay," said elder brother Arjun.
Clearly, keeping it all in the family.
The writer's trip has been sponsored by JK Tyre