Tony has met many supercar owners and thankfully, most are aware of the power they have at their disposal
Horse(power) handlers

No, this isn’t what most of you think. I’m not going to offer my two cents’ worth about the tragic accident involving the Ferrari that claimed three lives recently. I will, however, share my thoughts on the people behind the wheel of these high-powered machines. I’ve encountered them on the road and met them at social functions, and a number of them are even close buddies of mine.

The most commonly asked question whenever someone brings up the topic of supercars is: Why would anyone need such a powerful vehicle when the roads here are so congested and well policed?

For many, it’s not only about the 600 or more “horses” that reside within the engine’s 12 cylinders – it has more to do with the culmination of a childhood dream. Ask any petrolhead about his ultimate childhood fantasy, and I’m 100 per cent sure he’ll tell you it centred around a Ferrari, Lamborghini or some other form of vehicular exotica. Some of these individuals have the means to make their wishes come true, and those I’ve had the pleasure to befriend are ever mindful of their speed machine’s “potency”.

Sure, they fire up their rides as often as possible and occasionally even exceed the speed limit on the highways (don’t act all innocent on me because everyone has, at one time or another). But they don’t drive recklessly around built-up areas and more importantly, they are alert to everchanging traffic conditions, be these other road users or traffic lights and signs. Many are even long-time members of the “zero demerit point club”.

One of the main reasons for this is because they let their “speed demon” personas surface only on the racetrack. Track days, advanced driving courses and even circuit racing are all very much part of their lives. One of them refers to the time spent with his super-fast automobile as “race on Sunday, relax on Monday”.

Still, for all the law-abiding fast-car drivers, there are bound to be a number of rotten individuals who treat our public roads like a Formula One circuit. They switch lanes recklessly even when traffic is heavy, and every red light is like the start of a drag race to these numbskulls. As for disobeying rules and regulations, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve witnessed these cars speed up, instead of slow down, when the lights turn amber – with the junction still quite a distance away, mind you.

Look – I know your car can zoom from zero to 100km/h in four seconds or less, but come on, do you really think you can cover 100m in a second? Even Sebastian Vettel and his 800bhp Red Bull race machine will have trouble doing so.

Thankfully, these selfi sh drivers are but a handful – and clearly more the exception than the norm. If there’s possibly one good thing that has come out of that tragic accident along Rochor Road, it’s the fact that the country’s attention is now focused on speeding and reckless driving. And this should keep everyone, including the authorities, on their toes... at least for now.

 

This article first appeared in Torque.

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