Mira Erda Interview

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The first Indian female driver to race In Euro JK Series and Red Bull Athlete Mira Erda has broken stereotypes of age and gender and it is her never say die attitude that has ensured the spotlight follows her where ever she is.

At an age where girls are thinking of what clothes to wear and what accessories to buy, Mira Erda is changing perceptions of women in racing at the young age of 18. She tells us more in this exclusive tête-à-tête.

Looking Back

Having competed in one of the highest classes of Formula Racing in the country, the Euro JK series in the JK Tyre-FMSCI National Racing Championship, Mira admits that she has been racing as a child. “I was 9 years of age when I started racing. It was quite difficult for me at such a young age to manage studies and also race at the same time. My mother played an important role in helping me to maintain balance between racing and studying. She would take down notes from my friends and later in the day she would ensure that I study. Gradually as I grew older I learned to be independent and started to take decisions that would help me perform equally well in my academic career and racing. Since then it has been a great and simple journey for me,” It helped of course that her father was passionate about racing and that passed onto her as well. “As a kid, I could not figure out what to do but he made me sit in the go kart to drive for fun. At first I got scared but practice helped me get rid of the fear and I began loving it. A year later, in 2010, when I turned 9, my father asked me if I wanted to get into racing and it felt amazing and exciting. Thereafter, we went to see one of the rounds of the JK Tyre National Karting Championship, where I realized it was a male dominated sport as it has no female participants. This urged me to take racing as a profession.”

Mira Erda during the press conference for the launch of Red Bull Kart Fight, an Amateur go-kart competition held at Smaaash,Lower Parel, in Mumbai, India on July 18, 2017.  Photo :Ankur Salvi / Focus Sports / Red Bull
Mira Erda during the press conference for the launch of Red Bull Kart Fight, an Amateur go-kart competition held at Smaaash,Lower Parel, in Mumbai, India on July 18, 2017.
Photo :Ankur Salvi / Focus Sports / Red Bull

Gender Bender

Mira believes that motorsport is not a male dominated sport anymore and things have changed. “When I started racing, yes it was a challenging journey as boys would not like a girl racing with them and people around were also not open to the idea of a girl racing.  It was tough to cope up with the challenges initially but I did not give up trying. Gradually, I was able to make a place for myself in this sport. Today, I am happy to say that we are a family now. All the boys I have raced with are always so supportive and helpful. I am glad the mindset is not prevalent anymore and they consider me as one of them. As a woman racer, I don’t feel it’s hard to be racing amongst the men anymore.” She is also excited to be part of Red Bull Kart Fight being a great opportunity for the amateur drivers to experience racing and learn a lot as the 2nd edition kicks off in July 2018. “The X30 Challenge India is a one-make series and a great initiative taken up by Team MSports. It was a great experience as it was a competition equal for all and I enjoyed driving a kart which is equal to others. Also a can of Red Bull before a race helps me keep focus and gives me that much needed boost. My association with Red Bull has been great and I look up to the brand for being dedicated to what we racers love doing and being crazy about it. I’m so glad that they launched.”

Mira Erda seen at the Red Bull Catch Up 2018 in Gurgaon, India on March 8, 2018
Mira Erda seen at the Red Bull Catch Up 2018 in Gurgaon, India on March 8, 2018

Being Herself

Currently Mira is all set to begin college and hopes to maintain a balance between studying and racing. Inspired by her father who constantly motivates her to not be complacent and give her 100% in all the races she admits that she prefers to do different kinds of workouts. “My trainer makes me do unique workouts like working out on plates, weight training, TRX training, Flowin Workouts, Landmine workouts, cardio and many more. I also mainly focus on my core strength because that helps me in case of accidents.”  Quiz here on her most challenging race she says that every race is a challenge for me because she is always learning.  Looking ahead she admits, “I love being myself and spending time alone. My future plans include racing at the international level for which I plan to test in Europe or USA. The Southeast Asia Championship is something I am keen on as well. I believe in taking one step at a time so I hope I can do as well as I’m aiming to do.” Here’s wishing this youngster all the best as she is all set to ride high.

This story first appeared in the September 2018 issue of New Woman magazine here:

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