Youngster with artificial legs emerges winner in Formula Swift race

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At first sight, it’s difficult to believe that Chetan Korada has prosthetic legs. And the Chennai racer doesn’t want sympathy from anyone.

That’s why not many in the Indian racing fraternity know about Chetan who was born without legs.

Chetan took centre stage at the fourth round of the JK Tyre national racing championship here on Sunday as the 25-year-old scored an emotional victory against heavy odds. He emerged victorious after race winner Ameya Walavalkar was found guilty of a technical infringement in the Formula Maruti category in which 27 cars took off from the grid.

His congenital condition didn’t stop the brave-heart from competing in various sports since his school days. Chetan’s parents have been upgrading his prosthetic legs once in two years. “The state-of-the-art artificial legs are imported from Germany and expensive. I can feel everything like a normal person. I know how much pressure I am applying on break and throttle,” explained Chetan, who drives for Meco Motorsport.

Vicky Chandhok, president of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs,said Chetan’s achievement is extraordinary. “He is a role model for all aspiring drivers. He has passed all the mandatory medical tests. When he first came to us, we extended our full support. When Lewis Hamilton’s brother Nico is racing with cerebral palsy in Renault Clio series and Alex Zinardi drove with artificial legs in the World Touring Car Championship, I thought why not Chetan,” said Vicky.

Cars and bikes have always fascinated Chetan since childhood.

“Noticing my interest, my parents supported me to take up racing as a career. But I was mulling over a career in music,” said Chetan who started DJ-ying at 15.

After seeing an announcement about the Summer Cup for newcomers organised by the Madras Motor Sports Club in 2008, Chetan gave an entry with a dream to pursue his racing career. “When I finished my first race, everyone was convinced that I would not endanger their lives on the track. Since then, my peers has been treating me like just another competitor,” informed Chetan.

In 2009, Chetan was crowned Summer Cup champion after a dominating performance at the Irungattukottai track. He won five out of six races and finished second in the remaining race. “The following year, I participated in JK Tyre Junior Cup and scored a couple of podium finishes. After that, the graduation to senior level was not so easy. I found it tough initially, especially with my car having some problems,” added Chetan.

Chetan says his dream is to compete at international level. “First, I want to conquer the nationals and then drive in some international series. My sponsors QuestNet has been supporting me well,” he added.

Oshan wins Polo race

Pune’s Oshan Kothadiya saw the two varying emotions on Sunday. He won the Polo R Cup race in the morning to take the lead in the drivers’ standings ahead of Chennai’s Vishnu Prasad.

His dream of consolidating the advantage went bust in the afternoon when he went out of the race with a mechanical failure moments after the start.Contrastingly, Vishnu started the morning race 11th and managed an impressive fifth place.

Starting fourth in the afternoon race, he found his way through some early traffic to put himself in place to regain the championship lead. But like Ameya, he will have to await a decision of the stewards as a protest has been lodged.

Bollywood actor Purab Kohli reigned supreme in the Polo R Cup race for bosses ahead of Vicky Chan-dhok. Chennai youngster Feroze Khan (HCZ Racing Team ) claimed a twin victory this weekend in the Indian Junior Touring Cars category.

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