Women in Motorsport

Aishwarya Pissay

Can you name a famous Race Car driver from India or the World? Or can you name any woman associated with motorbike racing? Mostly the answer will be a definite NO.

Motorsports- One of the few sports in the world where men and women compete together but still when we take a closer look we see only men among the competitors. The majority of racers across Motorbikes, Supercars, Rally, Formula cars, or Motocross are males and there isn’t a single female who has made it to the top and stayed. This has surely got to do with history treating men as more machine loving than women and even in our families, isn’t it the male who drives the car?

Things are changing surely but it is still very slow. However, an optimist feels it’s a matter of a few years where we will see a female World Champion in the top tier of motorsports. The sense of positivity is derived from the new generation Indian woman that does not shy away from taking up male-dominated roles in society. In the last couple of years, we have seen a rise in female suburban train drivers, bus drivers, and cab & rickshaw drivers. The modern woman prefers to sit in the cockpit rather than be a co-driver.

Bengaluru girl, Aishwarya Pissay, is the best female motocross rider in the country. Apart from winning many domestic events she even won the National Championships 4 times. She has the unique and prestigious distinction of winning a world title at the FIM Bajas World Cup in the Women’s category.

Another name in the 2 wheeler segment is Alisha Abdullah. She is the first female to win India’s national superbike championship. Taking inspiration from IndyCar racer Danica Patrick, Alisha also loves karting.

Moving to 4 wheels; Sneha Sharma leads the way for women in Formula4 racing. Currently, she is racing in the FIA approved Formula4 South East Asia Championship. Formula4 is the feeder category for Formula3 and we hope that she makes it to the bigger stages. She narrowly missed the cut for F3 Women series in 2019. Mira Erda is another young girl who is into F4 racing and is participating in the same championship as Sneha Sharma.

Although we have only a handful of names even in 2020, no female participants in India are surely on the rise as there is no dearth of talent and opportunity. It is not only about Girls taking up such roles but also the responsibility of us, the society, as a whole to not frown upon such individuals but encourage them in their endeavor.

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