Though motorsports ecosystem may not be popular in Sikkim or may be new for many but there are few ones who are passionately pursuing it since long. Amongst the few are the two young boys from Sikkim, Ashwin Rai (22) and Pranesh Kumar Dahal (31) the licensed professional riders.
Duo will be participating in the first season of Continental GT 650 Racing Cup at Kari Motor Speedway. Coimbatore to be held on October 19. Continental GT 650 Cup is a Royal Enfield’s comeback in motorsports. Total of 100 riders from India have been invited to participate in the National Championship in one make category and with selection process top 18 fastest riders would battle for the championship and these Sikkimese duo are all set to strive hard to make it to the top list.
Ashwin Rai and Pranesh K Dahal are professionally trained riders from Sikkim. Rai completed his training from ISBK Racing Academy on 2021 and Dahal from Apex Racing Academy in 2013.
The championship is a maiden one for Ashwin Rai but Pranesh K Dahal has already participated in various championships in the past as One Make Championship from TVS racing back in 2014 , MRF Challenge 2015, Honda One Make and National Championship in 2017 and TVS one Make Championship in 2020.
Speaking to Sikkim Chronicle, duo has expressed their happiness in participating in the championship and look forward to do good in the event and later promote motorsports in the state of Sikkim.
Two young riders are very vocal about the situation of motorsports in Sikkim. They firmly stressed on the challenges and uncertainties one holds in Sikkim while pursuing motorsport. “Sikkim has no racetrack or an open space for a practice thus we have to travel long to Coimbatore, Chennai or Delhi. Racing is also an expensive sport and without sponsorship its quite a task” said Rai.
“Despite various challenges and limitation, we have am ample support from our family members to pursue our passion for motorsports” added Dahal.
Duo look forward to race the Isle on Man TT and Irish Road Championship which lies between Ireland and England in future. They confirm to draw their inspiration from celebrated riders like Rajini Krishnan who is a multiple times national champion and winner of Malaysia Superbike Championship, Valentiono Rossi who is a nine times world champion and Joey Dunlop who is twenty six times Isle of Man TT winner.
Despite various odds, the duo has been remarkably taking a leap and setting up an example for the upcoming youths in the state of Sikkim. Ashwin Rai is from Gangtok and has completed his Bachelors in Business Administration from Amity University whereas Pranesh K Dahal hails from 7th mile Ranipool and has completed his Bachelors in English.