Young Mira dreams big in male-dominated motor sports

By Tridib Baparnash

Coimbatore, Jul 9 (IANS): Women still find it hard to crack the top echelons of motor racing across the world, but teenaged Mira Erda from Vadodara aimed to change that perception when she became the first Indian female driver to compete in the Euro JK series of the JK Tyre -- FMSCI National Racing Championship.

The 17-year-old dreams of becoming India's first female Formula One racer -- a sport, mostly dominated by the male racers.

Mira, who took to racing at the age of nine, described her initial years on the track when she was demotivated by her male counterparts.

"When I had decided to go on the track, I was just 9, and I didn't realise that motor sports was all about male dominance," Mira told IANS here.

"The guys kept demotivating me and tried all means to pull me down as they believed I could never compete with them."

"But as I started improving gradually, they realised my potential and started accepting me as one of their challenges on the track," she added.

But Mira feels India still has a long way to change the perception that girls are less that the boys in any field.

"Seeing no girl on the tracks only inspired me and ever since I started racing, I have been dreaming of becoming a Formula One racer," she said.

Mira has been active in the racing circuit, having participated till now in about 75 races both at national and international level.

Mira, who began her motorsport journey in national karting, had been competing in the LGB Formula 4 series till last year.

The youngster has proved herself to be equal to bigger and stronger boys and won the Formula 4 Rookie Champion of the Year during the annual FMSCI awards last year.

Tagged as the "Speed Lioness", Mira is currently driving the BMW FB02 car in the Euro JK series and among the youngest racers on the track.


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