Home / Home / A Racer’s Life at a Glanza with Aishwarya Pissay


We go for a short road trip with ace Indian motorcycle racer Aishwarya Pissay to see what it’s like to live life in the fast lane

Story: Harket Suchde
Photography: Saurabh Botre

Aishwarya Pissay is a young and successful racer with five road racing and rallying titles under her belt — and she’s only 23 years old. She is quickly rising through the ranks to the crème de la crème of the Indian motor sport scene and we had an opportunity to spend a couple of days with her to try and understand how a star athlete like her lives her life.

For a young racer with great promise, I had brought along a young car with great promise — the new Toyota Glanza premium hatchback, perfect for driving around Aishwarya’s home town of Bengaluru and the short journey down to nearby Mysuru and back. Being a motor sport enthusiast myself, I jumped at the opportunity to find out how she trains to be a racer. Her response: ‘My week is set in a certain way where I train for three days a week at the gym and I train on the bike for three days over the weekend.’

That sounded brilliant. But I just had to see what Aishwarya was like live, in action, for myself. So, with no small amount of trepidation and with a growing sense of foreboding indicating that I would get absolutely creamed, I invited her to go head-to-head, one-on-one, out on a kart track. As suspected, she quickly left me in her dust, but it was quite the thrill hurtling around the track nevertheless.

I was curious to hear where this hunger and spark for racing, so evident during our karting session, came from and Aishwarya explained. ‘For me, it all began when I turned 18. I started riding motorcycles on a weekend trip with seniors from college and I started travelling quite a bit from there. I fell in love with speed and motorcycles back then and I started training, learning, and pursuing racing from that point.’


Next, we were heading out of Bengaluru, checking out some scenic spots and making our way towards the Mysuru road. The Glanza’s 1.2-litre petrol engine putting down 83 PS and 113 Nm of torque offered us enough grunt to continue towards Mysuru at full pelt, with the Android Auto-equipped infotainment guiding the way and the excellent sound system churning out some epic beats as we drove along. We arrived at our hotel by nightfall and were refreshed and ready to explore early the following day. We started out with a firm plan of seeing the town’s most famous sights in mind and our first destination was St Philomena’s Cathedral, with Aishwarya behind the wheel of the Glanza on this day. The towering church is one of my favourite spots in town and since Aishwarya had never seen it before, it made for a perfect place to kick-start our day.

After taking our fill of the church, I asked her about travelling since she had mentioned that’s how her love for motorcycles began. I was curious to know if she still took the time out to hit the open road and go exploring. ‘Well, I love travelling, which is why I’m here today!’ she said with a grin. ‘I’m really enjoying this trip from the time we left yesterday and the amazing drive here and now, having seen that gorgeous church, I’m looking forward to going and seeing the palace too.’ So, of course, the Mysuru Palace is where we went next, with Aishwarya smoothly navigating through the city’s roads and exploiting the Glanza’s light steering to navigate past traffic while I adopted the role of in-car DJ. The Palace is absolutely majestic and easily one of the most breathtaking structures in the state of Karnataka. The royal seat of the Wadiyar dynasty, the Palace can be traced back to the 14th century and is as grand and opulent today as it would have been back then.

After a little more sightseeing, we were back on the road and heading back to Bengaluru. Along the way, we stopped off to grab a bite to eat, which brought the conversation around to the diet and exercise regimen a top-level athlete like her has to typically follow. ‘My routine includes a lot of strength and conditioning, followed by endurance training. Based on this kind of high-intensity workout, my nutrition consists of a high-protein diet with a lot of fibre and a healthy balance of nutrients.’ A fulfilling meal later we continued our journey towards Bengaluru and I hatched a plan along the way. Having been humbled at the karting track the previous day, I wanted a shot at redemption and Aishwarya kindly agreed to offer me one out on the lanes at a bowling rink. So we parked at an arcade and made our way through to eviscerate some pins. A fast and furious frame later, it was time to call an end to our journey.

Before leaving, though, I asked Aishwarya what she thought of my decision to choose the Glanza for this trip. ‘I think this car has been perfect for this trip with the performance it offered on the highways. The keyless entry and go means you can just hop in and get going at the push of a button. The DRL LEDs really add a lot to the look of the car, so I like that too. The dash and the infotainment is great, too, with the Android connectivity and how easy it is to access. I really like the sound system as well. We had a good time singing along to the music. And for people like me who are tall, being able to adjust the steering to my comfort was such a great element.’ I couldn’t argue with any of that. It had been a great drive and some extremely engaging conversation as well. Being able to peek behind the curtain of the life of this supremely talented racer was truly fascinating and the Glanza made the experience that much more memorable.


Liquid Flow Exterior Design – A Style Statement
The Toyota Glanza is the latest entrant in the luxury hatchback segment and definitely makes a fantastic first impression. Its modern Liquid Flow design language is absolutely enthralling to look at, and turned many heads and attracted admiring glances throughout our drive. The stylish chrome grille, bold silhouette, and premium colour options all put the Glanza at the top strata of its segment in terms of visual appeal. Whether it is parked in front of a historic monument, or darting through the city streets, the Glanza stands out wherever you go.

Top-of-the-line Features
The Glanza sure is gorgeous, but it is more than just a pretty face. In fact, it packs path-breaking features that elevate it to a different strata from the competition. The Smart Playcast infotainment system allows you to connect your smartphones to your car using both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for a seamless, connected driving experience, and also features a parking camera for enhanced convenience. The interactive TFT Multi Info Display means the driver has a wealth of information at his fingertips. Fuel efficiency levels, driving statistics, power and torque charts, and so much more is all easily accessible at a push of a button.


About the author: Harket Suchde



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