Off-road racer Aishwarya Pissay stole the limelight after becoming the first Indian to win a world title in motorsports, as she annexed the FIM World Cup in the women’s category, held in Hungary earlier this month. To add to her winning feat, she also bagged a second position in the FIM junior category.
Aishwarya began her venture in motorsports when she was 18, and with the discipline that the 23-year-old has, it seems certain that she will achieve multiple breakthroughs in motorsports. Aishwarya’s ride to success in the arena of motorsports clicked at an early age, as she recounts, “I was 18 when I started. And in India, I think it was early. And yeah, I think that’s how everything started for me. It all started as a hobby, seeing, exploring, travelling…but over across the period, road racing happened.”
The first Indian woman to have won five national titles in road racing and rally championships, Aishwarya admits to having overcome many hurdles in order to make a mark in the motorsports landscape and providing a breeding base for women riders, in the process, to match up to male counterparts. It is little wonder that female racing stars are few and far between. One is then left to ponder over the number of women influencing the top echelons of the sport. Aishwarya asserts in restfulness, “Through all my training, my coaches have always treated me as a racer and not a girl or a guy…there have been people in the way where they said that this is not a career for women, not a career at all. But I think it has changed with me and other people who are making it big.”
Aishwarya, who counts many firsts against her name, kickstarted her journey of conquering roads while going on small road trips with her father around Bengaluru. But her career flattened itself after she realised to turn her passion into her career, as she says, “When TVS racing picked me up with my performance, it turned into my career. And that’s how things changed for me, and that is when I knew that is exactly what I wanted to do and I could focus on…making it my career.”