The last few months have not been easy for motorsport fans all across the globe. All forms of motorsport championships have been either cancelled or postponed on the national and global level, and that’s just one byproduct of the Coronavirus pandemic. The essential services workers have been at it day and night to improve the situation and that’s the race we need to win right now. Speaking of which, the motorsport fraternity has been waiting to dive back into action. And while it chooses to stay in the pitlane for now, the folks do know a thing or two on how to keep things productive. We asked the motorsport fraternity in India what they’ve been up to during the lockdown and here’s what they had to say.

Sirish Vissa, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India

Sirish Vissa says the current period of lockdown reminds him of a saying commonly used in motorsport – If you aren’t actively moving forward, you’ll find yourself going backward

The patriarch at Volkswagen Motorsport India, Sirish Vissa would’ve been involved with a new season of the Polo Cup, but the lockdown had other plans. Speaking about his lockdown days, Sirish said, “I have been involved in motorsport for about three decades and am one of the few lucky people who have made a career out of a passion. The current period of lockdown reminds me of a saying commonly used in motorsport – If you aren’t actively moving forward, you’ll find yourself going backward. My regular routine brings a sense of normalcy to my day – quick workout, timely meals, catching up friends, conference call with the rest of the management team and using a considerable part of the day in learning about motorsport related topics. I am involved with several efforts to find simple local technical solutions to develop ventilator support equipment to fight COVID-19. I am proud of the team; we have designed and manufactured intubation boxes, and adapters for doctors to use for their personal protection – a small part of what the entire company is doing as a good citizen. As soon as the lockdown is over, we will get back to building race cars but for events to resume, it may take a bit longer as we need to make sure all of you will be safe.”

Aishwarya Pissay, Rally Rider, World Champion

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Aishwarya Pissay been spending time at home by training endurance on the cycle

2019 was a fantastic year for Aishwarya Pissay, who became the first Indian to win a world title in motorsport. We certainly believe there were more accomplishments lined for 2020 but the virus had other plans. Nevertheless, Pissay is keeping herself fit and active with regular workouts, new shows and more. Speaking about life during lockdown, Aishwarya said, “At this point at least half my current season should have been over but at this point we don’t know when the next race is happening. I’ve been spending time at home by training endurance on the cycle, physical fitness for strength and conditioning, and also a little bit of meditation. I’ve also been doing a little bit of everything with bingeing shows and even experimenting in the kitchen. My advise to everyone would be to use this time to meditate for mental health, exercise for physical health and eat healthy.


Also Read: Aishwarya Pissay Becomes The First Indian To Win. A World Title

Rayomand Banajee, Karting Champion & Racing Coach

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To keep himself fit, Rayomand has been climbing a total of between 30 to 65 floors every day

Rayomand Banajee is an eight-time karting and formula cars champion, racing coach and the founder of Rayo Racing and IR eSports. He recently concluded the first season of the Indian Sim Racing League (ISRL) that saw the sim racers compete at some of the most-challenging tracks in the world, virtually of course. Speaking to carandbike, Rayo says, “The best part about this quarantine period is that I have resumed exercising in the morning and been climbing a total of between 30 to 65 floors every day. I also stick to a healthy breakfast, occasionally work from home, spend quality time with family and participate in household chores. I love to travel but due to the lockdown, I have taken out time to organize old travel photos and relive those memories. I am also watching the F1 classic races over the weekend. I would like to say to prospective and fellow racers to use this time to get as fit as possible, focus on right nutrition and eat healthy. This is a perfect time to improve your motorsport knowledge, watch some good racing videos and try e-racing as well.”

Dhruv Mohite, Race Car Driver

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Dhruv Mohite has been brushing up on his cooking skills, reading and working out in the evening

Kolhapur-based Dhruv Mohite has been a regular karting champion and has been a part of the Ameo Cup and the Indian Touring Car (ITC) series in recent years. Speaking about his life in lockdown, Dhruv says, “Being a sportsman and outdoor person, life in the quarantine period can be difficult. I have been catching up with my friends and family, following-up on work, watching an episode or two of current series, brushing up my cooking skills, reading and working out in the evening. These days I also dedicate an hour on developing a road map for our training academy in Kolhapur.

Karthik Tharanisingh, Race Car Driver

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Karthik Tharanisingh is spending considerable time racing on simulator with his fellow competitors

Karthik is a race car driver, a driver coach and a development test driver for Volkswagen Motorsport India. The Chennai-based racer also into virtual racing and has been spending his time on the console as well. Speaking about his lockdown life, Karthik says, “It is very easy to lose track of your daily routine and hence I try to stick to my workout schedule and spend considerable time racing on simulator with my fellow competitors. While the lockdown has disrupted my routine and racing schedule, I am using this time to finish scale model kits of fighter aircrafts, avail online learning courses, spend time with my family, help in household chores and think new ideas.”

Mira Erda, Karting & Formula Cars Driver

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Mira Erda is learning to cook new dishes, and also trains on her simulator

One of India’s young female motorsport stars, Mira Erda is a karting racer and has also completed in the LGB Formula 4 category. While we were hoping to see her break new barriers this season, it will be a long wait. Speaking on her schedule during the lockdown, Mira says, “I have a full day routine set up for myself, now for the remaining days of lockdown. I am trying to help my mom in all the house chores throughout the day which also in a way helps me to keep my body moving, as being an athlete I really don’t want to just sit around. I am also learning to cook new dishes. Then also comes the simulator time that I give myself, mostly every day to practice and drive on different tracks and keep improving my driving skills.”

CS Santosh, Rally Rider

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CS Santosh has been watching and listening to some interesting topics on YouTube videos and brushing up on Roman history

The fastest Indian is away from the rallying circuits but that hasn’t stopped CS Santosh from training on a motorcycle, who has been spending his time training at the Big Rock Dirt Park. Speaking about his lockdown life at the training centre, Santosh says, “Fortunately when the lockdown was put into effect, I was at Big Rock Dirt Park in Kolar. This for me means that I have the means to be able to still train on my motorcycle within my property as I have training motocross track and I have a few weights and lots of space to keep myself active, including being able to run a few kilometers when i need to. Apart from that, I have been watching and listening to some interesting topics on YouTube videos and brushed up on Roman history in the last few days. Having to drive 18 km to get to the nearest supermarket is the only difficulty so far but considering the situation, I would consider myself lucky to have this space to call my home especially during this lockdown.”

Jehan Daruvala, Formula 2 Driver

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Jehan Daruvala is learning how to make new kinds of coffees, and also studying for his B.COM exams, which have also been postponed

It was supposed to be a big year for Jehan who would make his Formula 2 debut this year as part of the Red Bull junior team line-up. However, the pandemic has put a halt on F1 as of now and that leaves Jehan, much like other drivers to be in the pits for now. Giving a glimpse his lockdown life, Jehan says, “Currently, I am at my home in Mumbai; quarantined like everybody else. I am learning how to make new kinds of coffees. I am also studying, as I was going to give my BCOM exams which have now got postponed, but I am still studying for it. I’ve been in constant touch with my personal trainer, we do Skype sessions almost every day. It’s a tough time but I am glad this has got me to spend some time at home with family, since I don’t usually get that chance. In a way, it’s got me closer to my family, I spend time with them by playing board games. I also spend a lot of watching movies on Netflix. I am a big fan of Money Heist, and over the last couple of days I’ve got hooked on to the series.”

Also Read: Jehan Daruvala Signed By Red Bull Racing Junior Programme

Aravind KP, Rally Rider

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Apart for regular exercise and and basic training, Aravind says, he also tries and spend more time with his dog

TVS Racing’s Aravind KP was recovering from a crash for a while now and is rating to go out in the open. KP is the second-ever Indian to finish the Dakar rally and this year has been about keeping off the saddle for the longest time. Speaking about his life in the lockdown, Aravind says, “I start my day by doing household chores, get my fitness working on. There are two different sessions that I do. One is concentrated articulate rotations to keep my body flexible. The evenings are about pulls and pushes, and basic training. I try and spend more time with my dog who keeps me sane, and there’s some Netflix and some PS4. I do miss travelling and visiting new places. Once the lockdown ends, I will be spending a lot of time on the bike and then see how fast I can travel to Europe and start riding training.”

Harith Noah, Rally Rider

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Harith Noah is in Kerala, training on the motorcycle at his track at home

Harith Noah made his Dakar debut this year riding the Sherco TVS RTR 450 and even managed to complete the rally in the experience category. While the lockdown has kept Harith’s rally plans at bay, the isolation is helping him train better and harder preparing for when things get better. Speaking to carandbike, Harith says, “I am at home in Kerala and I am training a lot. Maybe more than usual since I’m in one place. I’m also able to train on the motorcycle with a track at home. It’s small at 35 seconds for one lap but does the job. But I do crave to go out and start riding again.”

Ashish Raorane, Rally Rider

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Ashish Raorane is a marine engineer by profession and is currently committed to his work responsibilities onboard the cargo vessel

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Even as the country has been placed under lockdown, India’s top privateer Ashish Raorane has been under a different isolation. The rally racer is a marine engineer by profession and is currently committed to his work responsibilities onboard the cargo vessel. While he’s required to take extra precautions at ports, life at sea remains largely unchanged. Speaking about his routine onboard the ship, Ashish says, “My day begins at 5.30 am followed by morning exercises. It’s work as usual post that with weight training in the afternoon. The evenings are spent planning and preparing for the next race.”

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