Indian women have been impressive in sports in recent times but six women have taken it to new heights. This group from different avenues of life have joined hands to form India’s first ever all-women racing team.
Actor Manisha Kelkar, dentist Ritika Oberoi along with others drove the Formula LGB cars at the Kari Motor Speedway last weekend during the opening round of the JK Tyre National Championship. The revolution started when a few weeks ago when former national champion Sarosh Hataria’s online post on a talent hunt contest grabbed the eyeballs of the concerned women.
‘Ahura’ is the name of the racing team which has 12 members shortlisted by Hataria out of 190 entrants. While six out of them took part in the championships, the other six have been kept on standby for the four-round meet.
Hataria welcomed the new beginning and expressed that he wants to change the perception in the racing world. “An odd woman on the grid has become usual but I had been wanting to create an all-women team to take on the boys. Having females in motorsport is seen as more of symbolism than substance. I want to change that perception,” said Hataria to PTI.
Manisha Kelkar, daughter of famous screenwriter Ram Kelkar informed that she hadn’t seen a racing track until two weeks ago but surprisingly she took part in a national level competition. Regarding the matter, she said, “I had never seen a race track until two weeks ago and I have just taken part in the national championship. It is a dream come true. And I am sure with time we will get there.”
Diana Pundole and Natasha Shah each is a mother and are waiting for their chance to race this week as both of them were on standby. Pundole, who is a pianist and a painter, said, “It has been one of the best two weeks of my life. Going forward I know managing things will become tougher but I have full support of my family back in Pune.”
As per estimates, the team will have to spend around 80 lakhs each season to continue their career in motorsports. Not only that, Sarosh Hataria has managed to accumulate funds for the first round and is trying hard to raise money for the next round. Motorsports is expensive indeed.