“It’s the speed and only speed that thrills us” say Randeep Miglani & Divya Miglani, professional car rally drivers, pursuing the sport for last 5 years. The brother sister duo passed from ’91&98 batch respectively.
Randeep Miglani & Divya Miglani – The brother sister team that took the circuit by storm.
I grew up with two elder brothers like a third son in the family. They loved cars so I grew up loving cars. They got into car trading business immediately after studies & I got into something really crazy besides my media job and that was Car Rallying.
It was my birthday when Randeep gifted me a gypsy and to everyone’s surprise I got it modified into a Rally Gypsy and entered Himalayan Rally. I had no clue about rallying then and all I loved was the rally route which was Shimla — Leh. My parents were shocked but Randeep supported me to the extent that he navigated me in the rally. You need to have a navigator or a co-driver otherwise you are not allowed to take part in the event. We did two events together. In the first rally our gypsy toppled but we did not get discouraged. We entered Desert Storm rally soon, stood 4th and surprised everybody in the motor sport fraternity. By now the brother sister duo had got famous, but then Randeep decided to drive miles himself as he wanted to drive now and not navigate.
As I was one of the few female professional drivers, I got a lot of attention from media and sponsors. By now I had had podium finishes and trophies that my parents were proud of. It’s been a wonderful experience and continues to be so. I just had to deal with the perception of people that how bad women drivers are in India and I managed it well.
Randeep, in spite of being a newcomer, stood 3rd in the first rally itself – the Himalayan rally. This is the world’s toughest rally where one crosses the world’s 11 highest passes (about 17000 ft high). His performance shocked everyone in the professional circuit. He has also set records in Desert storm Rally (Delhi-Jaipur). In the recent Moghul Rally (Srinagar-Jammu¬Srinagar) he stood 2nd – just 1 minute behind the 1st one. He was awarded his prize by the Chief Minister himself Omar Abdullah with a 1.25 lakh cheque which is like a big prize money in Indian Motorsports.
Though we got into this sport in a much unplanned manner, but that’s not at all the way it should be. It is one of the most expensive sports. One needs to have a vehicle, preferably an SUV, modify it completely (an expense of about 2-3 lakhs), enter the rally with a huge entry fee, have a service team to make sure the vehicle doesn’t breakdown, make sure one has enough spare parts and lots more. Most of us are not into this for the huge prize money, its pure passion, a very expensive passion though – not just in terms of money but at the cost of one’s life.
Randeep with the then Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir Omar Abdullah
Since we have been doing it for the last 5 years now, we get sponsors easily as corporates have also realized it as a very effective way of advertising.
We both were above average students in school but always had an inclination towards sports. Be it athletics, volleyball, long jump or morning games in school, we had to be there. Thanks to MIS and our parents who could acknowledge that and always encouraged us in every way.