At 24, Shreya Sundar Iyer has already entered the Indian motorsport history books by becoming the first ever woman rider for TVS Racing. On the cusp of her first ever competitive event at the Indian National Rally Championship, asst ed Aninda Sardar caught up with the de-stressed damsel
Bike India (BI): First of all, congratulations Shreya. So tell us a little about how the love affair between 17-year-old Shreya and motorcycles happened?
Shreya Sundar Iyer (SSI): Although the first time I got on to a motorcycle and started riding was when I was in my twelfth standard at the age of 17, I have been in love with motorcycles and the idea of motorcycling for much longer. My uncle, who is a retired Air Force officer, used to take me with him when he used to go riding on his bike. It fascinated me and I thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of motion experienced on two wheels. So that’s where it all began really. Even when I rode a bike for the first time, no one really taught me. It all came to me quite naturally and I have been hooked on to motorcycles and motorcycling ever since.
BI: You obviously enjoy biking but how much time have you been spending on this love affair of yours over the past seven years that you’ve been riding motorcycles?
Shreya: Although I started riding a bike when I was 17, I really got into the thick of it about three or four years ago. That’s when I started riding off-road and started going on cross-country tours. I’ve not stopped since. By training and profession I am an architect and interior designer. I worked with Tesco for a year but I realised that if I continued working I wouldn’t be able to devote time to motorcycle riding. So I quit and became a freelancer so that I could ride more. On an average I go on at least one big motorcycle trip or two small ones every month.
BI: What sort of impact will this new assignment with TVS Racing have on your professional life?
Shreya: I have a couple of projects lined up that I was already working on. So I will of course complete them but at the moment I am not taking on any new projects so that I can concentrate all my efforts on this opportunity that I have got.
BI: The usual route to any kind of motorsport is through the junior rungs where you literally go through the grind before you make it to the national levels. In this case, you’ve burst on to the motorsport scene almost like a wild card entry – a rookie with no prior competitive experience. How did it all happen?
Shreya: I practice at this local dirt track where I met Vishwas who used to ride for TVS Racing. He was the one who probably thought I was talented enough to take part in a competitive event and put me in touch with TVS Racing. I was then called to the TVS factory where they evaluated my riding abilities before I was offered this opportunity.