TVS Racing Factory rider Aishwarya Pissay will become the first Indian woman to participate in the Baja World Rally as she makes her international rally debut.
Sherco TVS Rally Factory Team has announced Indian rally rider Aishwarya Pissay will be joining the team for the Baja Aragon rally later this year. The Baja Aragon rally scheduled between July 20-22, 2018, in Teruel, Spain, marks the international rally debut of Pissay in the sport. The 22-year-old racer racer will be joining a four member squad comprising brothers Adrien Metge and Michael Metge from France, as well as Spaniard Lorenzo Santolino. The achievement is also monumental as Aishwarya becomes the first Indian woman factory racer to compete in the Baja World Rally.
Speaking about making her international rally debut, TVS Factory racer, Aishwarya Pissay said, "This will be my first international Rally and 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. 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."
Aishwarya Pissay has been a part of a number of Indian rally championships and has quickly honed her skills on the two-wheels with every rally. In 2017 alone, Pissay participated and won a number of rallies including Raid De Himalaya 2017, Dakshin Dare 2017, Indian National Rally Championship (INRC), 2017 and TVS Apache Ladies One Make Championship 2017. She is also the youngest jury member to be a part of the The NDTV Car And Bike Awards.
Meanwhile, Adrien Metge has been a part of the Sherco TVS Rally Factory team since 2016 and has participated in Dakar for two consecutive years where he finished 11th and 22nd in 2016 and 2017 respectively. On the other hand, Michael Metge was recently added to the team but has completed the Dakar Rally six times. Spanish racer, Lorenzo Santolino has a history is circuit racing, and has previously participated in the OiLibya Rally of Morocco and Desert Storm. He is also a position holder in World E1 Championship 2015 and is a seven time Spanish champion in Enduro and XC.
Commenting on the team's participation, TVS Racing, Team Manager, B. Selvaraj said, "We are thrilled to be a part of the 35th edition of Baja Aragon and Aishwarya's participation makes it special, as she will be the first Indian woman to participate in a Baja World Rally. 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. Our technical team is also working around the clock on the performance of the bikes and I wish the team the very best for the Rally."
The Sherco TVS Baja Aragon squad will be participating in the rally on the Dakar ready - RTR 450. The move will also help Pissay to hone her rally skills, and we do hope to see her make it to Dakar in 2019, which is just six months away now.