Recently, we were invited to be a part of the selection round of the 2020 edition of TVS Racing Women’s One Make Championship – an exclusive TVS Racing initiative to train and select talented women riders to enter the mainstream racing arena. TVS Racing has been organizing this event for 4 years and 2020 is the fifth edition to the Women’s One Make Championship which goes a long way in ascertaining that the brand strives for gender-neutrality in motorsports in India.
The selection round for which we were invited took place at the Madras Motor Race Track, Irungattukottai on the 1st of November, 2020. The motorcycle provided to all the contestants was the Race-Spec TVS Apache RTR 200 4V. As excited as we were to be a part of this event, we were also looking forward to the learning the nuances of riding on a racetrack and to get to know the ins and outs of the racing scene in India.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, TVS Racing ensured that the event was organized safely. It started with a health declaration that was to be signed by all the entrants. Masks and gloves were provided to everyone and temperature checks were also conducted. Sanitizers were available at all places as well. TVS Racing also provided gears upon request which were also sanitized.
The first selection rounds took place in Mumbai and Bangalore. In both the cities, a Go-Kart track was built and the participants raced the Apache RTR 200 4V Race Edition 2.0 on those tracks. Around 90 female riders took part in these selection rounds and 32 of the fastest were selected for the selection round at MMRT in Chennai.
The TVS Racing Women’s One Make Championship has 16 slots which were to be allotted to the fastest riders among the 32 selected riders. The day was divided into 2 parts in which the first one was allotted to training and the second one for practice and selection. The riders were also divided in 2 batches post which all of the riders were trained.
The trainers included national champions of TVS Racing – Harry Sylvester, Jagan Kumar, KY Ahamed, and Aishwarya Pissay. They helped us familiarize with the Race-Spec Apache RTR 200 4V and also trained us in the basics of track riding. The training modules included flags, track route, lines, cornering, seating positions (on the straights and during corners), race launch, and standing & stopping positions.
While most of us see motorcycle racing as just that, racing, it is a much more complicated sport and with the high speeds and stakes involved it is important to know and follow the rules. It was a great learning experience to get to know and understand the rules and the basics of riding on the track.
Post this, the practice and selection round ensued and what a show it was to see all the riders displaying their riding skills and trying to push their limits to make the cut. At the end of the round, 16 riders were selected to race and 4 were selected as a backup.
We are very thankful to TVS Racing for inviting us to be a part of such a wonderful event and we look forward to attending more and getting to know motorsports and motorcycle racing even better.