Hot on wheels: Meet thrilling girls blazing India’s race tracks
Neither broken ribs nor the fearful sight of <g data-gr-id="53">crash</g> on a race track can terrorise them because they are all driven by one common passion -- <g data-gr-id="54">thrill</g> for speed.
Let’s meet India’s speed girls-- Sneha Sharma, a pilot by profession, 15-year-old Mira Erda and Delhi’s Dabas sisters, Neha and Ria.
Neither they want to prove that girls are superior to boys nor are they out there to challenge the chauvinistic beliefs of a certain section of society.
They are just following their passion. They just believe they can be competitive in motorsport and that’s why they are there.
It’s not a common sight to see girls, wearing overalls talking about gear box, a racing car’s specifics and the curves of a race track. But these four girls attract your attention, doing the same at the JK Tyre Racing championship.
Last year, the championship had two girls -- Indigo pilot Sneha and 10th standard student Mira competing in the Formula LGB 4 category and this season, Neha and Ria are gauging their skills in the Volkswagen Vento Cup.
It has not been an easy journey for Sneha as it took a lot of cajoling to convince her parents for getting the permission to pursue racing.
“They did not like the fact of me racing. I had created <g data-gr-id="55">lot</g> of ruckus at home and eventually they came around because they have seen my performances,” Sneha told PTI in an interaction during the Round 2 of the championship in Coimbatore.
It’s not just the pressure from family but financial constraints too are major obstacles.
“A bulk of my salary goes into racing. It is very expensive. But now I have two sponsors in JK Tyres and my company Indigo, I hope to drive in a better series. I want a full season drive in Formula BMW soon,” the 25-year-old said.
When you see Mira, she looks like a kid who is excited to be at the track, watching races and bike stunts. But her innocent face conceals her bravado. This you discover only after talking to her.
“I love speed. The first time I was behind the wheels, I hit the wall. The steering hit me very badly. For some time, I did not drive but after a few weeks, the fear went away.”
Unlike Sneha, it was Mira’s father, who enticed her into racing. “I have a track at my native place in Vadodara. I used to Go-kart there. My dad asked me if I would like to go and race.
We went to Pune for a race and there was a crash. Somebody broke his shoulder, but I thought it was fun. I trained at Kolhapur and got into national (karting) championships,” the 15-year-old said with a sparkle in her eye.
Similarly, Neha and Ria, daughters of a fighter-pilot, got a lot of support from their family.