Ajith Kumar, made his debut as a supporting actor in a Telugu film before gaining critical recognition in the Tamil thriller Aasai (1995). From 1995-2000, Ajith portrayed himself as a Romantic Hero in most of his films and two films that stand out are Kadhal Kottai (1996) and Kadhal Mannan (1998). Films such as Vaali (1999), Mugavaree (2000), Kandukondain Kandukondain (2000) and Citizen (2001) were all critically acclaimed movies and commercially successful. These films mark a transition for Ajith from the period Romantic hero to a method actor. These films established him as one of the leading actors in Tamil Film Industry. Vaali, where he plays a double role won him his first of many awards for Filmfare's Best Actor. 2001-2005 was a period of mixed success for Ajith. He took a sabbatical to re-work on his image as an actor and he returned to Tamil Film Industry with the highly successful Varalaru (2006). In addition to portraying himself as a Romantic hero and a method actor, Ajith has also acted as an action hero and delivered hit films like Billa (2007) and Mankatha (2011). Earlier films where he was an action hero were Amarkalam (1999), Dheena (2001), Villain (2002), Varalaru (2006). Villain and Varalaru earned him his second and third Filmfare awards for Best Actor respectively. In addition to acting, Ajith is a keen race car driver and has driven in circuits around India in places such as Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi. He has also been abroad for various races including Germany and Malaysia. He drove in the 2003 Formula Asia BMW Championship and the 2010 Formula 2 Championship along with two other Indians, Armaan Ebrahim and Parthiva Sureshwaren. He also participated in the 2004 British Formula Three season as a race driver for a minor outfit, and was ranked the third best motor car driver in India.