In Conversation With Kashmir's Emerging Racer

For 21-year-old Abrar Bin Ayub — like many youngsters — life is mostly about speed, thrills and cars. But, unlike most of them, he has transformed his love for raging machines as a full time professional ambition. Abrar hails from valley’s Apple town Sopore and is presently a 3rd year B.Tech Automobile student at SRM University Chennai.

The racer has been working for the college’s racing team The Conrods Off Road Racing, who design, fabricate and race with a ATV buggy in a competition called BAJA SAE India. Vice-Captain and driver of the college racing team – The Conrod, strikingly good looking Abrar has been recently sponsored by his college as a student racer in an international sports event to be held in Auburn, USA next month.

Abrar recently spoke to TheParallelPost. Excerpts from the interview.

How did you develop interest in racing?

It started right from my childhood when i used to ride my bicycle fast. On a serious note I would say there was never a single point when I developed my interest in it. It was there inside me, Always. 

Why this particular mode of racing/sport?

There isn’t a particular form of Motorsport I am confined to. I have been into cars, bikes and ATVs. Track racing has fan following but I am more of a Raid Rally guy who likes to go on tough adventurous terrains. And Vento cup formerly known as Polo R Cup was my dream as a kid, that is how I turned towards it to begin with.

Who is your inspirations?

Suresh Rana, a 9-time Raid de Himalaya winner. Also, CS Santosh, he is the most accomplished rider of country.

Many youth in Kashmir are seen increasingly involved in amateur street stunts. What do you think about it? 

Whenever I visit valley its sad to see boys driving recklessly on roads and performing bike stunts without any safety gear. Kashmir has some amazingly talented lads but they need proper guidance. People outside get paid to do so in supervised environment. I would say the political situation in valley is also a reason they do so.But they need to understand that safety comes first and it can’t be compromised at any cost.They should channelize the talent towards right track.

Have you approached anyone for financial support or sponsorship?

I have approached some big firms (would not want to disclose the names) in Kashmir but have received negative response sadly. I am someone who doesn’t have influential contacts may be that is the reason. I am almost on the verge of withdrawing my name from the Volkswagen Vento cup due to lack of sponsors. All other 19 drivers probably got some or other sponsor. But sadly companies and officials from my state haven’t come forward yet. My extremely supportive parents and brother have helped me in every possible way to reach to this stage but now the amount of money involved is huge. I would be glad if companies and authorities come forward to help me. Some hopes of mine are J&K Bank, J&K Sports council and J&K Tourism.

How do you see this particular sport in Kashmir?

Kashmir has lot of scope but it needs proper encouragement from the respective authorities. Rally races can be organised but it needs efforts. Mughal rally was the only rally which was able to run for few years and was finally shut. Snow rally would be one such great idea.