For every brand out there, there is a set of ethos and core values that define the brand. The same goes for automotive manufacturers. For many brands around the world, racing is where they find their roots. But the story of racing in India is, well, less storied than many other nations. And yet, we have an Indian manufacturer that finds its roots in racing. TVS Motor Company prides itself on their decades of racing experience. If there is one Indian brand that can call itself a part of the elite “Race on Sunday Sell on Monday” club, it is TVS Motor Company.
In all the years that TVS has spent on racetracks, they have not only used the experience to develop their products but have done more than their part in making motorsports mainstream in India. A dedicated racing team and dedicated events to find more racing talent in the country has ensured that TVS Motor Company is at the forefront of everything motorsports in India. One such championship is the TVS Racing Women’s One Make Championship. With more and more women taking up motorcycling, this championship is aimed at helping them realize if their love for riding also has a competitive facet to it.
To that end, we got an opportunity to be a part of the selection process for TVS Racing Women’s One Make Championship. We flew to Pune to cover and be a part of the selection round for the West Zone where 35 Women riders showed up and 20 were selected for the next rounds. A day filled with action, adrenaline and a whole lot of inspiration; here’s an account of what went on during the West Zone Selection round for TVS Racing Women’s One Make Championship.
The track set up by TVS was a go-kart track prepared for motorcycle racing. This ensured that the track was very technical and helped racers learn and implement the basics. At the same time, the selectors got an opportunity to select the top 20 riders with a knack for going fast around a racetrack. Our first stop was the registration desk where the participants re-registered as confirmed and present entries. Next up, we were guided to the tent room where TVS had set up our theory classroom.
The proceedings began with a brief from Mr HK Pradeep, Brand Manager TVS Racing, Community & Brand Experience at TVS Motor Company. He talked about TVS’ racing history, and how it has come a long way. He also asked us about what racing meant to us. It was amazing to get to hear so many different answers in the sense that the same thing can mean so many different things to different people. For some it was a dream, for some it was adrenaline, for some it was a stress buster, for us it was passion, but the one thing that we all knew it was going to be was fun.
After that, we were introduced to the trainers and the classroom began with the basics. They taught us how to start, how to move through the gears, and the basic layout of the track. Post that, we were ready for our first stint with the racetrack which was aimed at getting us familiarised with the track. Before that, we made our way to the gear collection counter and got our gear. After getting ready, we were out on the racetrack studying the layout and trying to get a feel for the motorcycle.
About the motorcycle, the Apache RTR 200 4V is a phenomenal machine and continual development based on the learnings from the racetrack and customer feedback has ensured that it is one of the most complete motorcycles in the market at the moment. The ones that we rode on the racetrack were prepared for the express purpose of racing. No stands, keyless ignition, no instrument cluster… you get the idea, right? It was meant to create a connection between the rider and the machine with both pushing each other’s limits out on the racetrack. With how it performed, we could all see that the underpinnings of this machine were surely born on the racetrack.
After the sighting laps, so to speak, we made our way to the classroom again. Naturally, a lot of us had some queries and they were all satisfactorily cleared by the trainers. With some more tips on body positioning during the various parts of the track, we went out on the track again. This time though, the riders were divided into three batches of around 10 riders each. After some fast runs and time attack simulations, it was time for the selections to begin.
Mr Vimal Sumbly, Business Head for Premium 2Wheeler Segment, TVS Motor Company, flagged us off for the selection run with some inspirational words. He also kept his ear to the ground, talking to the riders about their experience and what they felt about the motorcycle. During the selection laps, we were observed by the trainers who were also keeping an account of the lap times being set by each rider. After the selection runs ended, it was time for the results to be announced.
Representing xBhp, Ankita Arora was there to cover the event but she also wanted to test her mettle on the racetrack. Showing good speed, she was a part of the Top 20 results but her media duties meant that the top 20 results excluding her were selected for the West Zone. After the announcement of the results, Mr Vimal Sumbly and team congratulated everyone and we all received a certificate of participation. The top 20 riders were then informed that they will be a part of the next selection round in April 2023, to be held at MMRT in Chennai.
It was heartening to see so many women riders turning up to try their hand at not just motorcycling but competitive motorcycling. We’d like to extend our sincere thanks to TVS Motor Company for going above and beyond to bring more and more people to motorsports, on the racetrack and in the stands. Overall, it was a great learning experience for us and we can’t wait for the next selection round at MMRT. We hope the folks at TVS Motor Company heard that one!