Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh) [India], December 18 (ANI): Ace Indian rallyist Gaurav Gill opened his account in the Champions Yacht Club - FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship 2020 with momentum, scoring a thumping victory in Round 1.
Apart from Gill, it was Karna Kadur and Dean Mascarenhas who made it to the podium in the overall category. While the big boys of Indian rallying were at their best and turned in stellar performances, it was the driving skills of the female drivers that left everyone smitten. The likes of Team Vasundhara duo of Pragathi Gowda and Bani Yadav, Khyati Modi and Pem Sonam impressed the racing aficionados and gave a glimpse of what is possibly in store for women in motorsports.
While FMSCI has off-late been very active in promoting and bringing in more female drivers in the motorsports, the promoters of INRC has taken it to next level this season and for the first time in the history of INRC, there were four female drivers on the grid, who were fighting for glory in the overall championship as well as in different sub-categories.
While every lady driver was impressive behind the wheels, it was Pragathi Gowda along with her co-driver Deeksha Balakrishna who stole the limelight. Pragathi posted a total time of 01:07:53.400 hour to not only win the women's category ahead of her teammate and veteran Bani Yadav (& Subhkiran Pal Kaur Brar), she also won the Junior INRC Category beating the likes of Arjun Rao and Rakshith Iyer. She finished fourth in the INRC 3 category and ended ninth on the overall standing.
"We had a wonderful start to our INRC campaign. It could have been better in terms of our performance but we won't complain much. It was a really great event and the fact that we were able to compete at a national level and come up with a result like that is really encouraging. I would like to thank FMSCI, Vamsi Merla, our sponsors Vasundhara for their support and I believe if we could perform and make a name for ourselves this year, many more female enthusiasts would for sure be attracted towards the sports and hopefully, we would see many more women in the grid in near future," Pragathi said in a statement.
Khyati Mody along with her navigator Sagar Mallappa claimed the second position in INRC 4 category. While Vani and Pem Sonam, the only female driver from Northeast on the grid, could not post a podium finish, it was their gritty driving that caught everyone's fancy and would for sure encourage many more female drivers to come and try their hand at motorsports. (ANI)