Life on Speed Lane - Alisha Abdullah

IJ Anita Tejwani
Published on: 21st October 2014
The fastest car racer in the country and India's only female bike racer Miss. Alisha Abdullah is our today's inspiring story.

Alisha, born in 1989, in Chennai, has been fascinated by racing since she was eight years old. "My dad was a racer too, and I was fascinated by the machine, speed, action, etc. I used to love it when he put on his suit. My dad got me a small bike as well," says Alisha. As a nine-year-old, Alisha was drawn to go-karting. She was winning go-karting races by the time she was eleven. When she was just 13-years-old, she won the MRF National Go-Karting Championship and the Best Novice Award in the National level Formula Car Racing in the open class. Slowly, her racing developed into a passion. "Finally, when my dad gifted me a 600 cc superbike on my 18th birthday, I knew that motorsports was my vocation," narrates Alisha.

Her dad, who was a racer himself, has been her biggest supporter throughout. He has also been her inspiration as she has seen the kind of hard work and sacrifices he has made in his career.
Life on Speed Lane - Alisha Abdullah, racer
Talking about the internationals, she said: "The girls are physically stronger compared to Indians. Otherwise, it is all same. I barely had a 0.5 second difference with some of the veterans. In the pre-race sessions, they practise with men and gradually do better when competing against each other." Alisha, who recently finished first and second in Toyota Yaris Cup in Bira Circuit believes that she is confident of cracking the Vios code. "I raced in the rain in the Yaris Cup when others took an off waiting for the track to dry. Racing in adverse conditions is an advantage. Now, I am well acquainted with the track," she said.

Though people might think of Alisha as this girl with a rock chic fashion sense like boots, leather jackets, denims, etc., she claims, "I am not at all tomboyish off the track." Also, she adds, "I love wearing pretty dresses for evening events with jewellery as well. In fact, people get a surprise when they come to know that I am Alisha, the super biker," she laughs.

She has had the most amazing thing as a challenge in life: to stand out different than other girls and try something that can prove that women in India are not less than those of any other country. She says, "It's funny that people think all women racers in Asia are really easy to beat but they aren't one bit easy."
Life on Speed Lane - Alisha Abdullah,female racer
Apart from racing, the 24-year-old is about to go around India scouting for women bike racers and train them. "I always had plans of a racing school. I want more women to come into racing. I am going to teach them about fitness and techniques," says Alisha.

Awards she has won in racing:
  • JK Tyre National Super-bike Racing Championship - 2009, finished 3rd overall in the National Championship amongst 15 men.
  • Volkswagen National Polo cup (India) - 2012, finished overall 8th
  • Volkswagen National Polo cup (India) - 2011, finished overall 8th, a podium finish.
  • Volkswagen Polo Cup - 2010, finished 10th overall amongst 24 men in the Polo cup class, being the 1st year of her professional car racing
  • National Road Racing Championship UCAL - 2008, Group A stroke up to 750 cc Novice Round 4, 3rd place
  • Rotary's Young Achiever Award - 2008, Honoured with Rotary's Young Achiever Award. The Rotary Club of Madras Northwest presented the award applauding her trail-blazing achievements in car and bike racing.

  • National Road Racing Championship UCAL - 2006, Group D4 stroke 80 cc to 110 cc Novice Round 5th Round, 3rd place.
  • National Road Racing Championship UCAL - 2006, Group D4 stroke 80 cc to 110 cc Novice Round 4th Round, 3rd place
  • National Road Racing Championship UCAL - 2006, Group D4 stroke 80 cc to 110 cc Novice 3rd Round, 2nd place.
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