Meghalaya woman drives off-road to victory

Meghalaya’s Sabrina Wallang during the Mahindra Adventure Off-Roading Trophy final in Maharashtra recently.

SHILLONG: The city’s Sabrina Wallang emerged the winner of the Ladies Category in the Mahindra Adventure Off-Roading Trophy 2013-14 final, which was held in Igatpuri, Maharashtra, recently.
A selection of racers from Meghalaya, who participated in the Shillong leg last year, went to Maharashtra to compete in the final, held from January 22-24.
The other drivers were Altaf Mohammad, Gagan Jain and Chiborlang Wahlang. The total number of participants was 34.
While Wallang bagged the award for best woman off-road driver in the country, the men’s title was taken by Sibi Paul of Coorg.
Paul won the ultimate prize, a Mahindra Thar vehicle. The first runner-up was Damaninder Singh, while Kurian Kurian came third.
Each driver in the final was given an identical vehicle to compete in.
Wallang’s achievement was all the more admirable as she represented Meghalaya without any aid or a sponsor.
She said that she practises when she is free from the office with nothing more than a pickup truck with bare necessities.
“For a woman, driving into rough terrain with a pickup truck without power steering has really been hard,” she said.
Wallang entered the motorsports scene in 2000, more frequently as a navigator on a two-wheeler with her husband Eugene Niangti.
Seven rounds of the Mahindra Adventure event were held in 2013, with drivers from each round selected for the final in Maharashtra this month.
The cities that hosted the event were Shillong (in fact, the race was held in Ri-Bhoi), Hyderabad, Goa, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Kottayam (Kerala) and Sakhleshpur (Karnataka).

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