“Racing’s In My Blood” – Raza Shaikh

Nov 5, 2013 by     Comments Off on “Racing’s In My Blood” – Raza Shaikh    Posted under: Spotlight, The Red Carpet

Pakistan’s sporting scene is mostly limited to three or four genres, with hockey, football and squash trailing meekly behind cricket. However, there are still some people who are working for the promotion of other sports. Raza Shaikh is one of these guys, who has given his all to promote motorsports and infuse the love of cars in the Pakistani audience. His Racing Community of Pakistan is a platform for all the unofficial racing clubs of Pakistan to join hands and work on a larger scale to make racing legal in Pakistan. His organization claims to represent not just one city but the racing enthusiasts from all the cities and villages of Pakistan. Here, YC talks to the man about himself and his efforts towards promoting motorsports in the country.

Tell us about yourself. About the real Raza and his life beyond engines and cars.
A person who’s caring, loves to cook food, has a good taste of music (mostly classics), and wants to become a powerful person so that he can help others in need. I will do anything to bring a smile on someone’s face. I am not a big talker. Time punctuality means everything to me. And money means nothing.

If you had to choose a word which defined you, what would it be?
If I had to choose a word which defines meeeee, I’ll go for ‘unique’!

So, we’ve heard you are fond of cars. Why cars?
I’m not exactly fond of cars. I’m more fond of motorsports, because it’s a thrilling sport.

Brmmm. Brmm. The engine is the driving force of a car. What’s yours?
I believe the people around me are the driving force for me. Without their love and support, I could not have done anything.

Some of the readers are not well aware of your work. Could you tell us a little about the Racing Community of Pakistan (RCOP) and explain what you do with it?
Racing Community of Pakistan (RCOP) is an organization working to promote motorsports in Pakistan. We have done many auto shows in all the major cities of Pakistan just to show people that motorsports is not a bad sport, and that there is a lot more to it than crashes and deaths. We just need a proper racing track to keep it safe, and in the near future Insha’Allah, we will see Pakistani motorsport talent on an international platform representing Pakistan.

Has the love for cars been in your life from the beginning or just something which came with time?
RCOP is not something kay kuch logo na socha or page bana liya like it happens nowadays. It belongs to those people who have been related to motorsports from the very start. This passion for cars and the sport is hereditary, and has come down to us from our families, and hence, we are taking it ahead. 12-13-2002 is the date when my father collaborated with the TDCP to do an antique car rally from Lahore to Rawalpindi and it was the first event in which I was a helping hand to my father. That was my start in the motorsports industry of Pakistan.

They say following one’s dreams is the hardest thing to do. How true has this been for you?
Well, when u know that the Almighty Allah is with you, then nothing is going to be hard. You just have to keep believing in your dream.

Till now which car is your favourite and why?
The Audi R8. Why? Because it is a vehicle with an elegant shape, a powerful engine, and most importantly, you can drive it on a daily basis.

Chalti ka naam gari“, as the phrase goes in Pakistan. What do you think?
Chalti ka naam gari’ was a phrase created by the people who used to drive Toyota Pickups because it is a hardcore vehicle which can go anywhere and does not need a lot of maintenance. It surely doesn’t apply to the world of motorsports.

People say the love of cars is a luxury only for the more privileged. Do you agree?
No. I do not agree with that because you don’t need money to enjoy cars. You need contacts. *smirks*

Can a person be judged by the car he keeps, or how he keeps it?
By how he keeps the car, I believe.

Have you had any idols in your life? Some one who you were inspired by?
My grandfather. He was, is, and will remain my idol till the day I’m alive.

What are your future plans?
To make motorsports legal in Pakistan and give my fellow motorsport fans a gift of a proper international racing track. When I’m done with that, then I’ll think of a more bigger picture.

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