Six Indian women are making us proud in the realm of motorsports. We speak to them to find out what drives them.
2. Neharika Yadav
A dentist by profession and a superbike racer by passion, Neharika has participated in races held at Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia and the Mugello Circuit, Italy.
"Superbike racing was never a conscious decision as I am a full time practicing dentist. I never imagined I would venture into bike racing but being a regular rider at the Buddh International Circuit, I witnessed a lot of male riderswere filling up entries for the JK Tyre Superbike Championship in 2015. It then occurred to me that I should also participate and see how I perform. The experience was so fulfilling that I never looked back, and have been racing ever since."
3. Neha Dabas
The first half of the Dabas sisters, Neha started her professional racing career in late 2015 with the JK Tyre Rotax Karting Championship and soon after enrolled in the Volkswagen Vento Cup. She also participated in the MRF Formula Ford 1600 series, with her sister, Ria Dabas.
"I had been a national level basketball player and state level swimmer and an overall athlete. I had never imagined myself racing a car until I sat in one. The moment I turned on the ignition and stepped foot on the accelerator I felt a sense of thrill. When I started my racing career motorsports was pretty popular down south but in Delhi or elsewhere in the country this wasn’t advertised or promoted on a large scale all we knew was of the Formula 1. But all that had changed over time, the adrenaline rush that this sport gives one is something I crave."
4. Ria Dabas
The second half of the Dabas sisters, Ria too started her professional racing career alongside her sister in 2015 participating in the JK Tyre Rotax Karting championship and later in the Volkswagen Vento Cup. Ria also holds the distinction of being one of the youngest superbike riders in the country.
"I was always interested in sports. I have been a state champion in throws during my school days, but besides that I was also immensely fascinated with cars and bikes.The fascination grew as I grew older. My elder sister participated in the Vento Cup so therefore I grasped the opportunity as soon as I got it."
5. Alisha Abdullah
Alisha Abdullah is India’s Fastest Female Racer and the only one to participate in Superbike Racing and Car Racing.
"My father was a racer, and as I was a kid I would go with him to the racing tracks. Watching him race would enthrall me. It piqued my interest in becoming a pro-racer; I wanted to become India’s fastest racer."
6. Sneha Sharma
Sneha Sharma has been around the Indian racing scene for a while now and has won the Volkswagen D Polo Cup, Toyota Etios Motor Racing, Rotax Rookie Race, JK Tyres Four-Stroke Championship and more. When she’s not behind the wheel of race cars, Sneha works as a pilot with Indigo Airlines.
"Speed thrilled me since I was young. Quite often I would find myself racing with bike riders on the streets, and to their surprise I would win. At that point I knew that there was something inside me and I needed a platform to express it. Upon hearing that there was a go-kart ring in my town, I went and tried it. The first time I sat in the kart, I felt at one with it. I also ended up clocking the fastest lap of the day. At that moment I decided, this is how I want to feel for the rest of my life. I picked racing because it is one of the only sports that allows men and women to compete on the same track without any gender biases."
7. Mira Erda
Mira Erda is 17, and has been racing actively for the last 8 years. She is India’s first female racer to race in the JK Tyre National racing championship.
"I was eight when my father started a go-kart track in my hometown, and having had a strong interest in cars and speed, I learnt how to drive a go-kart. I would race with my brothers for fun. When I turned 9 my father asked me if I wanted to get into serious motorsports, and seeing that there weren’t too many women in the sport I decided to get into it and set an example."