It has been a trend on social media to seclude Indian women drivers, it is as if a lady driver has no sense or the ability to drive without supervision. Ria Dabas and Neha Dabas, the sister duo has proved every single meme wrong, by their excellent racing skills and track records. Unfaltering courage and their undying passion for driving has made them driving sensations over night. Join the duo as they discuss the highs and lows of driving and their uncontrollable excitement to race on the Buddh International Circuit.
Highlights of the episode
- Speed and Thrill are the core elements of car racing, however Patience is key.
- Will power and dedication can lead to the ‘track of success’.
- Winning isn’t important, to be able to learn and implement is credible.
- It was her commendable fitness that gained Neha much acclaim at the Volkswagen Motorsports Fitness Camp held at Bangalore.
Quotes and Takeaways
- “Our father tells us not to get distracted by the fear of injury but to stay focused in the pursuit of victory.”
- “So when we are on the track we try not to push too hard and make silly mistakes.”
- “Discipline is the key to success so we stick to the rules and the track limits.”
- “We both are here to live our dream and follow our passion that is our love for cars and racing.
Speed is the spirit of attraction for car racers. What is your opinion? Tell us about your journey so far.
Speed and the Thrill of car racing are indeed the two core attractions for any racer. Both Ria and I have a lot of experience driving on the roads but the Vento Cup is our first ever professional race. It is also our first time on a professional racing track, driving a race car. We have had no such prior experience of karting or driving on circuits.
Racing is a completely different and new world to us though we are loving each and every moment of it. We get to test our limits and also our machine’s capabilities which we don’t get to do on Indian roads. Round one was tough we started last on the grid i.e. 20th and 21st but finished 17th and 18th. I unfortunately had an incident due to which I couldn’t finish my second race. However I took it as a good learning experience, also I became aware of the areas I needed improvement in. Round two was much better with respect to our performance, our times dropped, we started 12th and 13th on the grid.
What was the first motivation to begin your journey as a racing driver?
We both have always been very active in sports, I have been a national level basketball player and a state level athlete and swimmer. Ria has been a state level athlete as well. Our father is an ex Indian Air Force fighter pilot and our mother also loves riding superbikes, so I feel the need for speed runs in the family. Our parents have always been very supportive of our dreams and have always encouraged us for such activities. Our father tells us not to get distracted by the fear of injury but to stay focused in the pursuit of victory. We were never aware of any national racing championships happening in India but as soon as I came across the Vento Cup registrations, we registered and thought of giving it a shot. And here we are, from 550 entries Volkswagen picked up 16 new drivers and the remaining 6 are from the previous year’s polo cup.
Along with that I also got a special mention for my outstanding performance in a number of fitness sessions during the Volkswagen Motorsports Fitness Camp held at Bangalore.
Ria was also racing as a bike rider. What gravitated her towards being a biker as well?
Ria was the youngest female superbike rider in India. Riya: Riding bikes has been truly overwhelming for me, ever since I’ve seen a bike it has fascinated me. I got my first superbike as a gift from my parents on my 20th birthday. I receive a great deal of mixed reactions from people, however 99% of them appreciate it. I used to ride with a group known as ‘Born 2 Ride’, I got to know a great bunch of riders. We went to Chail (Shimla) 353km approx., it took us around 6 hours on our way back to Delhi, it was my first time in the hills and it was thrilling.
Do you have a personal code of conduct on the track?
Since this is our first championship and we are still learning and have a long way to go, so when we are on the track we try not to push too hard and make silly mistakes. We know the drivers who are better than us, so we try and tail them which makes us better drivers and also helps us get faster and improve our lap times and in the coming races hopefully we will race bumper to bumper with them. And I feel discipline is the key to success so we stick to the rules and the track limits.
What has been your most memorable experience as a car racer so far?
We have done just four races till now and for us every moment was exciting. Most specifically our first race, the feeling was out of this world, it was so much fun. Second race I saw myself driving more aggressively and I enjoyed it. I was running 12th before I had a little race incident and unfortunately couldn’t finish the second race, had some technical issues in the car too.
We are concentrating on improving our driving skills, concentration levels and also working hard on our fitness and endurance which is indeed very crucial for race car drivers.
What is your message to our readers?
We still have 6 races ahead of us, surely it is going to be exhilarating. Looking forward to our race on India’s finest race track i.e. Buddh International Circuit in our home town and hopefully we will get some good points back home.
We both are here to live our dream and follow our passion that is our love for cars and racing. And we also know that there are a lot of other good female drivers out there and all they need is their families to support them so that they also can live their dreams and make all of us proud. We are glad if we can become inspirations for them.