Bino Jose believes in wearing the helmet even if he doesn't care for all the other trappings of professional racing.

You dont mess with the lungi Keralas Bino Jose destroys competition in jeep race
news Feature Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 07:13

Bino Jose Cheeramkuzhy is bemused by all the attention he's been getting lately.

The 43-year-old racer from Kerala has become a social media sensation after a video of him winning a mud track race held at Bhoothathankettu, near Kothamangalam in Ernakulam district, went viral. What caught everyone’s attention was Bino’s nonchalant, man-off-the-street appearance.

Speaking to The News Minute, Bino says, "The people who come and cheer me along at the races are ordinary people. They feel like my victory is theirs."

For Bino, racing is a hobby. Just two years into it, he's already won several trophies. "I've got about eight or ten," he says, "I don't really care about the trophies. I just do this because I enjoy it."

Bino works in the quarries when he is not racing. His brother, Joseph, is his assistant.

(Bino with his brother)

His passion took him to compete in the races conducted by Kerala Adventure Sports Club (KASC).

"I was always interested in driving," Bino says. "I like doing risky things."

His competitors are professional racers, what advantage does Bino have over them?

"Nothing at all," he laughs. Bino drives a Mahindra Major and doesn't even bother with dressing up for any event.

Social media is especially taken with his lungi-clad appearance, given that other professional racers appear in full gear.

Bino, though, doesn't get what the fuss is all about. "If I win, I have fun with the prize money. If not, I just come back," he says.

Bino has been in a couple of accidents in the past during races. So, though he doesn't wear fancy clothes for driving, he makes sure that his helmet is always on.

Recalling an accident that happened during a race in Karnataka, Bino says, "The vehicle overturned completely but nothing happened to me."

Understandably, Bino's wife is not thrilled about his hobby.

"She doesn't think it's necessary," Bino laughs. "But my four children don't mind." 

Bino's extraordinary skill with the jeep has caught the attention of Anand Mahindra, the Chairman and Managing Director of the Mahindra Group. He tweeted that Bino seems to have made the Mahindra jeep "fly"!

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