Both CS Santosh and Aishwarya Pissay have made great strides in international rallying. Santosh has been participating in the challenging Dakar rally for five seasons, while Pissay is the only Indian to win a world title in motorsport.
The Federation of Motor Sport Clubs of India (FMSCI) has announced the names of motorsport athletes CS Santosh and Aishwarya Pissay for the 2020 Arjuna Award – the highest civilian honour for sports in the country. Both the Santosh and Pissay have made great strides in the world motorsport, more specifically rallying. CS Santosh is part of the Hero MotoSports Team Rally and has participated in the challenging Dakar rally for the past five years, along with a number of Indian and international rallies since 2013. Aishwarya Pissay is backed by TVS Racing and has been made her international debut in 2018. She won the 2019 FIM Bajas World Cup in the women’s juniors’ category, becoming the only Indian to win a world title in motorsport.
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–@FMSCI is delighted to nominate top former racer Akbar Ebrahim for the prestigious #DronacharyaAward and bikers CS Santosh and Aishwarya Pissay for the #ArjunaAward this year. pic.twitter.com/6IW61xBIUJ
— FMSCI (@fmsci) June 1, 2020
In addition, the FMSCI has also put forth former multiple national championship winner Akbar Ebrahim’s name for the consideration of the Dronacharya award. Ebrahim has had an illustrious career in domestic racing and has also been a racing coach and an instructor. The former FMSCI president also runs a karting team for young drivers, mentoring young drivers at the grassroots level of motorsport.
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Under the rules issued by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for the Arjuna Award, the federation can nominate a maximum of three names for consideration. In order to be eligible for the coveted award, the athletes need to have consistently good performance for the past four years at the international level, and also show qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and discipline.
Motorsport was officially recognised as a sport by the Indian government in 2015, but it wouldn’t be until 2019 that a motorsport athlete would receive the Arjuna Award. Ace rally driver and multiple APRC winner Gaurav Gill became the first Indian motorsport athlete to receive the honour.