New Delhi, Feb 29 (IANS): 2019 Arjuna awardee Gaurav Gill added another feather to his cap as he took home the Special Award at The Federation of Motor Sports Club of India (FMSCI) Awards held at PHD House in New Delhi on 29th February 2020.
2019 marked a watershed for motorsports in India as it received unprecedented recognition on the national stage. Gaurav Gill created history by becoming the first motorsport athlete to be awarded the Arjuna Award, the highest civilian honour for sports in India. Similarly, 17-year-old Yash Aradhya is the first-ever motorsport athlete to win Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Shakti Puraskar.
FMSCI is the only federation in Asia Pacific that organises 10 national championships in almost all verticals of 2-wheelers, 4-wheelers and karting. The awards witnessed over 110 national champions receive their trophies for the national championship and special awards.
Talented young racer Lal Nunsunga won the coveted 'Upcoming Motorsport Person of the Year' award during the ceremony. Since he started racing in 2016, the 18-year-old from Mizoram has overcome great adversity on his way to becoming one of the brightest prospects of Indian motorsports to look out for. This award comes after a highly successful year in 2019 for Lal which included 7 podium finishes at the national level. Hailing from Aizwal, the speedster is confident of racing in the MotoGP one day.
The awards also witnessed a strong outing by female racers, signifying the rise of women in the sport. Motorcycle racer Aishwarya Pissay was among the awardees for 'Outstanding Achievements in World Motorsports'. 2019 was an unforgettable year for the 24-year-old from Bengaluru as she became the first Indian to win a World title in motorsports when she triumphed in the FIM Bajas World Cup. Shriya Lohia and Muskan Jubbal were also recognised as 'Outstanding Women in Motorsports'.
Racing stalwart and Padma Shri recipient Narain Karthikyen continued to scale heights as his win at the Japan Super GT earned him the 'Outstanding Achievements in World Motorsports Award'.
Jehan Daruvala was also recognized for his historic signing by Formula 1's Red Bull Racing for their junior programme. The youngster will compete in his first FIA Formula 2 Grand Prix in Bahrain next month, as he follows in the footsteps of Formula 1 icons Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, both of whom are products of the Red Bull Junior programme.
Round-winner of Asian Le Mans Series Arjun Maini and FIM Asia Cup of Road Race podium winner Abhimanyu Gautam were also honoured for their outstanding performances at the international level.
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, who was chief guest for the ceremony, said, "Every sport needs heroes to inspire the next generation of champions. I want to commend all the winners for scripting the stories that will motivate new talent in motorsport and continue to make the country proud like you all have. Seeing the achievements of Indian racers at the national and international level has made me believe that the dawn of Indian motorsports is finally here".
FMSCI President J Prithviraj said, "This afternoon reaffirmed that Indian motorsports is headed in the right direction. Not only are Indian racers holding their own at the international level, but the sport is also really taking off at the domestic level with more and more young racers breaking in. FMSCI is more motivated than ever to ensure that motorsports continues to develop at the grass roots level and raise the standards of Indian racing to match international levels."