Pune: Rallying nomad may not be a misnomer for Aishwarya Pissay, but this 22-year-old rider truly lives on bikes with dreams of going afar as possible.
Having conquered almost everything on the domestic circuit in 2017-from Raid de Himalaya to Indian National Rally Championship-Aishwarya has set her eyes on the international challenges thanks to support of TVS Racing factory team.
“I am now preparing for high-endurance race that involves off-road rallying to over 700-km through gravel and broken uphill and downhill land in Spain,” Aishwarya told Sakal Times in an interview before she flew out to take part in BAJA World Rally in Aragon, Spain.
An integral part of TVS Racing factory team, Aishwarya was chosen to be part of the TVS Sherco Rally Factory team that will make her first Indian woman factory racer to take part in World BAJA Rally.
The BAJA Aragon will be held in Teruel, Spain from July 20 to 22, but given that this would be her first international stint TVS Racing has decided to give Aishwarya enough practice and acclimatization time in Spain to get ready for the rally.
“I am overwhelmed as well as grateful to TVS Racing for giving me this opportunity. The Baja Aragon is a good training ground for any racer who has their sights set on the Dakar as it tests their mettle among international talent,” said Aishwarya of the opportunity she has at hands.
“We saw potential in Aishwarya so decided to pitch her for BAJA World Rally to give her experience of international competition,” said B Selvaraj, Team Manager, TVS Racing.
“I am excited to race alongside experienced International Champions from the Sherco TVS Rally Factory Team. The prospect of finally experiencing the RTR 450 is daunting but I look forward to packing time on the motorcycle and perfecting my technique,” said Aishwarya who would be astride the rally-spec RTR450.
Aishwarya will be part of the four-member squad for Baja Aragon. The team comprises of the French brother duo of Adrien and Michael Metge and Spaniard Lorenzo Santolino besides Aishwarya.
Adrien has been associated with Sherco TVS Rally Factory team since 2016 and has participated in Dakar for two consecutive years where he finished 11th in 2016 and 22nd in 2017. Michael Metge, a recent entry into the Sherco TVS Rally Factory Team has proved his mettle in Dakar Rally six consecutive times.
Spanish racer Lorenzo Santolino comes on board with vast experience in the international racing circuit. He has participated in OiLibya Morocco Rally and Desert Storm, apart from being a position holder in World E1 Championship 2015 and 7-time Spanish Champion in Enduro and XC.
“We are thrilled to be a part of the 35th BAJA Aragon and Aishwarya’s participation makes it special. What makes this even more exciting is that this is a new team that we are fielding for the Rally and it will be interesting to see how the dynamics play out,” is how Selvaraj commented about TVS’s participation in BAJA World Rally.
Aishwarya Pissay fact-file
Raid De Himalaya 2017: Winner
Dakshin Dare 2017: Winner
Indian National Rally Championship 2017: Winner (Ladies class)
TVS Apache One Make Championship 2017: Winner (Ladies class)
Factbox Baja Aragon
The 827 km Baja Aragon is a tough and challenging Rally, particularly with high summer temperatures that add to the difficulty for the racers.
This edition will be the sixth in a row hosted by Teruel, with the route passing through the regions of Jiloca, Sierra de Albarracín, Cuencas Mineras and Community of Teruel
Baja Aragon is the longest-running European event in the Cross-Country specialty and is in its 35th edition.