“Speed” excites every one especially the youth since they are full of energy and enthusiasm. But here is a young man who says “Speed thrills me but safety is first”.
Motor rally sports is a mix of speed and energy, which has enthralled youth for generations. While there are a lot of international achievers in this field, there are relatively few Indians who have come up to the mark. One such Indian who has made a big name hails from Mangalore, and has made all kannadigas proud.
Ashwin is the shining star of the racing field and also known as the best Co-driver in Indian Rally Fraternity, has been competing in rallies from the past 17yrs.
Born to Mrs M. Jayasheel Naik and Mr Sharth J. Naik, Ashwin is a multitalented boy, he had actively participated in athletic events, had also represented school and colleges in many track and field events.
In 1995 when he was in his 2nd PUC he started motor biking, in the year 2000 Ashwin took up in 4 wheeler category. In the Indian National Rally he participated as a Co-driver and from then on there is never looking back.
Ashwin has credit to more than 175 national and international rallys till date and has represented many teams. Presently he races Indian National Rallying Championship for MRF and Cross Country Rally for Mahindra Adventures. Past two years have been remarkable for him. He has won the Indian National Rally Championship in 2012, Winner in Thailand 4×4 rally, Malaysian rally, Dhakshin Dare in 2010, Rally of Orissa 2010 (Indian National Rally), Desert Storm2012(extreme), 2nd in Rally of Kerala 2010, Rajasthan 2010 and 3rd in Rally of Maharashtra 2010.
His carriers biggest achievement was when he won the Himalayan rally for two consecutive year 2009 and 2010. Ashwin is the only South Indian to achive this. He has won many Championships along with his partner Mr.Amit Rajth Ghosh from past 6 years. Ashwin had co-drived with Suresh Rana who is 8 time champion for the Himalayan Rally.
Ashwins role model is Mr. Daniel Elena who is called “God of Co-drivers” who has won 91 rallies. His Favorite vehicle is Citron WR CC4 and his biggest dream is to be a part of Dakar Rally which is held in South America, which is almost 9000km long. He also encourages upcoming youth from Mangalore like Dean Mascarenhas and Vikram Rao.
In his early days of racing he was widely supported by few businessmen from Mangalore and also got sponsored by corporate companies.
Why is this sport not gaining the popularity in India, where as in West it is huge?
He said that there are many reason why it is not successful here, one being sports vehicles are very expensive in India due to tax variations and there are other reasons also attached to it like in western countries this sport is introduced in childhood itself so that by the time they turn 16 or 17 they are well trained to participate in rally. While here in India we get our license only at 18. He also added that the standard of our roads and the speed limits also makes his Motor Rally sport not so popular.
What is the importance of this sport ?
He answered like how we play a sport for being physically fit similarly even motor vehicles also need some exercise and this is the best for the vehicles, besides the companies also come to know which parts are weak and need to be modified as well they can also improvise their product.
Ashwin holds a Diploma in Civil Engg and an MBA in marketing. He also runs “Nirmal Info World “and”Nirmal Info Services” at Mangalore which deals with IT products and Services. He is also the Founder Member and Secretary of Indian Motor Sport Club which is currently organizing Mahindra Great Express in South India and North East India.
An achievement in itself that reflects the hard work and determination that Mr.M.Ashwin Naik has put, which has led him to the elite club of Motor Rally drivers. In future we see this young man going Great Guns and making we Indians more proud. Team News Karnataka wishes him all the best for his future.