BENGALURU: Across the globe, women are increasingly involved in motorsports but Indians have long way to go. Though only few women bikers can be seen competing on the race tracks, the tribe is slowly growing. Aishwarya P is among the few who have stepped into this male-dominated sport.
It all started with passion for biking. But now, Aishwarya has decided to take things to the next level – two-wheeler rallying and racing. The 20-year-old Bengalurean has been riding bikes for four years now but it was only to travel. She liked it so much that she decided to take up a bigger challenge.
“Once I started travelling long-distance. I started pushing my limits and began to go faster. When I began to push my limits, people suggested I take formal training for which I joined Apex Racing and got into track racing. The risk is much higher in motorsports and we would obviously be rushing to reach the end,” says Aishwarya.
Rallying happened all of a sudden. “I was interested in rallying too and the Dakshin Dare was just around the corner. Luckily, I got a sponsor and I was helped with the entry fee too. It was like living on the edge.” She finished fifth in the Group B, 165cc class.
Till last week, Aishwarya has raced once in Coimbatore. In the Formula Junior Racing, she took the top step on the podium. In the National Motorcycle Racing Championship in June, she finished 20th in a group of 40 boys. Last weekend, in the Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship, she stood third in the Honda Ladies Race. “It was intimidating initially. But to overcome that is the challenge. It is not just about proving that you are faster than the others. It is a competition with yourself,” she explains.
Aishwarya has been successful so far in her rallying and racing career. But her journey to get here has been challenging. She was warned that it would be dangerous, but the confident biker knew that biking was in her blood and decided to go ahead with it. “Whether it is just riding, rallying or racing, people have always underestimated my abilities. But, in the end, they stand awestruck,” she stated.
However, the support she received from friends and family helped her grow. “My mother has been extremely supportive. She is proud that I am doing all that she didn’t get to do. My friend Vishwas has been supportive too,” she says, even while adding that she is yet to find sponsors for her rallying pursuits.
Apart from the two-wheeler track races, Aishwarya hopes to take part in the two-wheeler Indian National Rally Championship and the grueling Raid de Himalaya.
Knowing how difficult things are in the world of motorsports, she is being realistic with her dreams. “Honestly, there is nothing called a career in racing unless you are really good at it. I am developing my abilities and will hopefully create a platform for myself,” she remarked.
But her message to other aspiring women bikers is clear: “If you really have the passion, just listen to yourself.”