~~By Natasha Dkhar
“The thrill of Speed overcomes the fear of Failure”
The passion for speed,the love for cars and the thrill they seek in driving is what brought the duo together as a team to conquer new heights in one of the extreme sports in the world.The duo have left no stone unturned ever since as they with their mean machines are taking motorsport to a new level.The dynamic duo are none other than Phoebe Dale Nongrum & Baljit Singh Tedwal from Shillong.
In an exclusive interview with TNT-The Northeasttoday,the duo will tell us about their journey as partners and many more…
TNT: Give us a brief Bio about the two of you?
Baljit Singh Tedwal: I started out my Journey in Motorsport with Motocross in the year 1998. I have competed in 17 Motor Cross and won 13 podium. Then I started getting into Autocross later and won a few race and side by side I have competed in a few National Rallies and brought home 3 Wins for the Northeast … The passion that I had never stopped but grew more and more each day. As of now I am concentrating more on upcoming National Rallies..
Phoebe Dale Nongrum: I grew up having the Passion for speed, the love for cars and bikes. As I was growing up I would have these small drag Race, but as there was no platform for a woman in the Racing track in Shillong, I left town to pursue my studies and had been away for over a decade. But it is when I had returned back whereby some friends of mine had organized a local autocross event and asked me to give it a try.Without hesitation I said yes and ever since my journey in this extreme sport has continued.
TNT: What made the two of you get into this this type of sport?
Phoebe: Well we both have the same passion, love for speed mostly but this sport also requires skill and you need to have talent if you want to bring home trophies we would say.It’s not just about getting in the car and driving, it may look simple but it really isn’t. And every single time we race we learn a lot and that helps us improve and become better.
TNT: Recent achievements
Phoebe: Recently as a team we have brought back two wins for the Northeast this was on Dec, 2017 at Ziro Arunachal, the event was organized by INRC (Indian National Rally Championship) Round 5 in the open class category,we were the winners and 1st runners up over all in the championship…and individually I just won the National Autoprix Round 6 Guwahati ProMod Ladies Cup said Phoebe.
TNT: What made the two of you choose each other as partners?
Phoebe: Well like I said we both have the same passion but well we met on the track in Bhoi Rymbong during in an autocross competition which was my first autocross after being back home after a decade. So I was asked to have a co-driver by my side and I had to pick someone who was present at the track so as I knew Baljit and what he’s capable of I thought let me ask him am sure he wouldn’t mind accompanying me. Most men are afraid of lady drivers but he was ready so that’s how we got along. Then a month later he gives me a call asking if I was interested in being his co-driver for an upcoming national Rally in Dirang Arunachal which was the Arunachal Festival Of Speed in April 2017 and without hesitation I said yes let’s do it…that’s how we started our journey as Racing Partners. We did take home 3 Wins from that Rally…This was our first and now we are looking forward to more.
TNT: Do you think drivers from the Northeast region have the potential to compete in International levels?
Phoebe: Yes, of course why not, no one can stop you…But the fact is that it is a difficult journey to the top considering we have a lot of disadvantages. The Journey will be a difficult one, it’s a very expensive sport it’s not easily affordable.To compete internationally you would need to at least have a Sponsor… Like I said earlier if you have the passion the determination, skill, talent you can give it a shot….Sacrifices have to be made, a lot to learn along the Journey… You have to be focused.
TNT: Is this sport expensive?
Phoebe: Yes very much so the cars are mostly modified, and for modification, the parts to improve the performance of the car are expensive. To get a car ready for National Rallies would be approximately 10 to 12 lakhs… so far whatever has been spend is from our own pockets.
Phoebe: Well as a team we are looking forward at upcoming future events like National Rallies like Desert Storm, Raid the Himalaya. But as for me and I am looking forward to compete in upcoming National Autocross.
TNT: Message to upcoming motorsport enthusiasts from NortheastIndia.
Phoebe: We would love to see more young Northeast Individuals in this line of sport …We want to encourage them if they have the passion for this sport,to have the courage to hit the tracks and show their skills, talent and their love for speed but only in the tracks where it’s safe… No rash driving in the streets.They should drive safe otherwise.
(The writer can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)