Shimla: Two women, both achievers in their own way, have won the women’s trophy at the recently-concluded 14th Maruti Suzuki Raid De Himalaya.
They have also won the first prize in their own category – the Stock Amateur Category at the Raid, which ranks among the top ten toughest motorsport rallies of the world.
The driver and navigator team is of Gauri Gupta, a homemaker who lives in Bhopal and Nidhi Sharma, a young and successful entrepreneur of Shimla.
Nidhi and Gauri participated in the Adventure category at the Raid. This category follows the Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) format. Gauri was the driver while Nidhi was the navigator.
Nidhi is an IT entrepreneur from Shimla and Gauri is a fashion designer. Gauri said she had been into sports since childhood. “As I got married and had kids, I lost myself. As my kids grew up and were about to move out, I had a feeling that I need a passion to get going in life.”
This is when Gauri discovered the TSD (Time-Speed-Distance) format in motorsport rallying through a friend. “I liked the concept of TSD. This was not rash or fast driving, but required skill to make it to the finish line,” said Gauri.
Gauri has participated in 13 motorsport events since 2010. She has participated twice in the Maruti Suzuki Raid De Himalaya, twice in the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm, and once in the J&K Bank Mughal Rally, held in Jammu and Kashmir.
Nidhi says that as even as she values her commercial success, what has brought a glow to her life is her success as a rallyist. For years, Nidhi had nursed the dream of participating in the Raid.
“Growing up in Shimla, every year I would watch the Raid competitors zoom out of Shimla. Through schooling and college, I wanted to do something truly adventurous. I got an opportunity to be navigator for Gauri, and rallying has opened a whole new world of fun and adventure for me,” said Nidhi.
Himachal Pradesh is the home state for the Maruti Suzuki Raid De Himalaya, the only Indian motorsport event on the annual calendars of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and the Federation Internationale de Motorcyclisme (FIM), the governing bodies for auto-racing events globally for the 13th consecutive year.