ATIQA ASIF MIR: kashmir’s pride Breaking Boundaries and Making History in Motor sports

ATIQA ASIF MIR: kashmir’s pride Breaking Boundaries and Making History in Motor sports

At just 9 years old, Atiqa Mir from Srinagar (Kashmir)  is making headlines as a karting sensation, breaking records and capturing hearts around the globe. Her journey began when she triumphed in the UAE IAME National Karting Championship in the Mini R category and secured podium finishes in DAMC and the Middle East Cup in 2023. Atiqa holds the esteemed title of the highest-ranked female Karter under 10 globally, proudly representing the George Gibbons Motorsport (GGM) team.

She made a huge impact on the racing and karting world. Starting her racing journey at just 6 years old in 2021, Atiqa impressed everyone with her speed, maturity, and dedication. Despite her young age, she quickly became a race winner in the Bambino Category (for ages 5 to 8) during the 2021-22 season in the UAE. Despite facing experienced drivers, Atiqa emerged victorious, breaking barriers in a male-dominated sport and aspiring to excel globally. She serves as a role model for young girls interested in motorsport.

Attributing her passion for racing to her father, Asif Nazir Mir, a renowned racer and India’s inaugural national karting champion, Atiqa shares her inspiring story. Introduced to karting at the age of five, she quickly honed her skills, transitioning from electronic carts in malls to indoor karting tracks. Encouraged by her father, Atiqa embarked on a journey to shed excess weight to optimize her performance, showcasing her dedication and determination. During practice sessions, Atiqa collaborates with her father to refine her driving techniques and analyze race data meticulously. With aspirations to follow in the footsteps of her favorite Formula 1 driver, Max Verstappen, Atiqa dreams of breaking barriers and making history in motorsports. Her message to young girls everywhere is one of empowerment and resilience – urging them to pursue their dreams with unwavering determination and self-belief.

When Atiqa turned 8 in November 2022, she became eligible to compete in the Micro Max and Mini X30 categories in the UAE National IAME and ROTAX Championships. Despite joining midway through the championships and being one of the youngest and least experienced drivers on the grid, Atiqa performed exceptionally well. She achieved impressive results, including qualifying as high as 4th place in Sharjah among a field of 20 karts and securing several Top 5 finishes.

Atiqa has been selected to drive for the prestigious World Championship-winning team, BIREL ART ITALY. She is receiving professional training and guidance from a world-class team of trainers and technical support, with the ultimate goal of becoming the first female driver in modern Formula1.

Atiqa has achieved several remarkable accolades in her racing career:

  • She became the youngest and only female UAE licensed driver in the  UAE IAME x30 and Rotax Championship 2022-23 in the Mini category.
  • Atiqa secured two runner-up finishes in the DAMC and Middle East Cup in 2023.
  • At just 6 years old, she made history as the first Indian female driver to compete professionally in an International Karting Championship.
  • Atiqa also became the first Indian female driver to win in an FIA International Karting Championship at the age of 6.
  • She broke new ground by becoming the first Indian female driver to set a Lap Record at Dubai.
  • Atiqa made history again by finishing in 2nd place overall at a Karting Championship internationally, marking another milestone for Indian female drivers in motorsport.

Speaking to the media after the race, Atiqa expressed gratitude for the opportunity to participate in such a prestigious championship. She mentioned having a strong weekend with good pace, but unfortunately, the race was cut short by two laps due to a red flag, resulting in her finishing third. Despite being confident of a victory, it didn’t work out this time. However, she remains optimistic and determined to try again in next month’s Round 5 at the same track. Atiqa credited her team, Birel ART Italy, led by the legendary Mark Rose and assisted by Kingsley, for providing her with a great setup and kart. She also thanked all her sponsors and supporters for their contributions towards making her participation possible.

In conversation with greater Kashmir Atiqa said –

“For me, it was cars, cars, and more cars since I can remember. I didn’t own a single doll or a soft toy. I just loved collecting cars and racing them. I was different from other girls,”

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