Our guest for today is from Coimbatore. She is 16 year old racer Shravanthika Lakshmi. She has a passion for both singing and racing. She often volunteers for racing events alongside her father. This is what she has to say about her journey :
“I, Shravanthika Lakshmi a 16-year old girl of C.S. Academy, Coimbatore decided to do go karting after a few achievements in Music. My father V. Shyam Kumar who is a Senior Steward in the FMSCI and Close-Roads Commission Member FIA used to take me to Motorsport events regularly.
I have released two Music Albums; one is an everyday prayer song and the other one is an everyday chanting shloka. As a teen go-kart racer and singer, I have never compromised on my education. It was initially challenging to balance between music and motorsport, but the support of my parents, teachers, friends and my dad’s friends helped me to move forward.
I did not grow up like the other kids who are into racing. In my first ever racing school I was in the program with other students who had started karting a few years ago. To my luck my music mentor Unnikrishnan Uncle and my racing mentor Akbar Ebrahim Uncle always expect more than 100% and getting a compliment from them is like achieving something great. The first time that I had got behind the wheels was at age 13. I was a self-proclaimed scared cat but my parents and I agreed that I needed some basic motorsport control skills before I got onto the circuit.
I recall that first time on the track. I was driving with Asia Champions and National Champions; my friends namely Sandeep, Vishnu, Akash and Yash were the driver coaches at MSport. “Everyone in the racing world has this story of when they got bit by the bug. I went out on track. I didn’t expect to it to be easy to drive with veterans. I’d been a huge scary cat my entire life and something about racing made me fall in love with it. I don’t really know what it was to this day. It is hard to pinpoint. I don’t know if it was the control aspect of it or the competition aspect, but I love it.”
The Audi A3 was the first car that I learned to drive. My parents encouraged me to work with racing teams and federation officials to learn the nuances of running and organizing motorsport events. I have successfully completed all the races in 2018 and 2019 go-kart championships, this year in Round 4 I had a severe crash, another competitor T-boned my ribs and I took the beating. That’s when I realized why my mother fed me with a lot of milk in my childhood, to strengthen my bones. This made me stronger and I am fitter for the current year. I have trained with Team MSport in the formula 1300 cars and I am determined to do it this year. The Karting Commission Chairman, my favourite Sajeev Uncle is the one who motivated and advised me to keep finishing all the races, which I’ve obeyed till date. My father’s friends from the motorsport fraternity encouraged me and say of wisdom, how gifted I am?
My School C.S. Academy, Coimbatore, was generous enough to accommodate my leave of absence and help me in my academics, in the days of my absence to school, my achievements so far would not have been possible.
In 2019, I was the first girl to represent our country in the first World Motorsport Games, in the karting Slalom, held in Rome, Italy. I was the Flag bearer and it was indeed a proud moment for me, which I would cherish through my life.
I’m grateful to FMSCI to honour me along with a few other women achievers with the award “OUTSTANDING WOMEN IN MOTORSPORTS” for the year 2019.
Unfortunately, due to the COVID 19 pandemic the 2020 World Motorsport Games is postponed to 2021 and I would not be eligible to take part in the karting slalom due to the age criteria.
The COVID 19 lock down period I have been using it systematically to maintain my fitness and as well training with my music teacher on Skype. I wish this lock down period is well utilized by all and emerge stronger and healthier for the upcoming season.
I would like to thank Ms. Sita Raina, Chairperson Women in Motorsport for asking me to co-ordinate the webinar for Marshal and Volunteer Training for women in motorsport conducted on 12th May 2020.
I feel I am very lucky, and I am thankful to all to who have trained me, encouraged me and guided me, without them I wouldn’t have been writing this note.
I believe in the words RACE TRUE!!!
What are the extra curricular activities you do to stay healthy?
Regular workout and my music practises
Who is your favourite F1 driver and why?
Lewis Hamilton, I like the commitment, the way he drives and his humbleness
How your family supported you?
What are the biggest challenges you are facing now?
My family is my biggest support and at first they were bit scared but still they were really supportive
All my achievements are only because of them
What is your strength and weakness?
My strength and weakness is my performance because I always set my timings as my target and keep developing on the same
So, I self reflect and identify and work on it
How do you balance studies and racing?
My school has been very supportive but granting holidays even during my 10th grade classes
It was really great to balance between both
How has karting helped you through out?
Karting is always the basics and that is the only way you can rectify your mistakes and learn so many nuances