Constant downpour during the Prologue
leg of the Force Gurkha Rainforest Challenge (RFC) India 2015 led to a complete
mud-fest at the Rajiv Gandhi IT Habitat in Dona Paula in Goa.
The event was kick-started in
the morning with a flag-off by Jennifer Monserrate (MLA, Taleigao), Luis J.A.
Wee (Founder & Creator, The Rainforest Challenge) and Ashish Gupta (Founder
& Director, Cougar Motorsport Pvt. Ltd.). Twenty-two teams are competing in the second
edition of RFC India. The Prologue leg
is the first of the six Special Stages of the competition. This year is also
seeing participation from Polaris India.
The tasks put in front of them
tested them on various aspects of driving and vehicle recovery techniques. When
asked if he was nervous about the competition, Raj Singh Rathore from Jaipur
who is representing Polaris India in the competition, replied, “I am not
nervous at all. In motorsport, it is a simple mantra – do or die.” After five
minutes, his Polaris RZR 800 was badly stuck in Special Stage (SS) 1 because of
which he had to take a DNF (Did Not Finish) for that particular task. In fact,
this particular stage where the competitors’ off-road driving technique was
tested, turned out to be a very tough challenge for most of the competitors
with several vehicles, including that of Kabir Waraich of Gerrari Offroaders
Chandigarh, toppling over. Despite this, Kabir said, “It has not been bad at
all for us so far. I hope it only gets better over the next few days.”
SS6 was another interesting
one which majorly involved winching. The task required the teams to climb two
inclines of about 5 feet each at a ninety degree angle with the help of a winch
and sand ladders, then come back and go down the first incline. SS2 was a
relatively simple speed task wherein the teams had to cross two dust mounds and
then return to the finishing point as soon as possible. While ten minutes were
given for completing this task, several teams ended up finishing it in merely
two minutes. Though Special Stage 4 looked simple enough involving removal of
the rear right wheel, taking it around the car in a clock wise direction and
then fitting it back properly, it actually made one of the teams sweat heavily
when a bolt fell in the slush and they had to frantically hunt for it to finish
the task before the time ran out.
There was a huge turnout of
locals who came to show their support for their home teams of Cedrick Jordan
DaSilva (Floyd Preston) and Bajirao Patil (Sayyad Sarfaraz). As Cedrick’s
Maruti Gypsy (Competition Vehicle Number 113) continued finishing one task
after another with ease, the crowd went ecstatic and cheered him on.
The day ended with several
vehicles breaking down after undergoing some tough challenges and service teams
working frantically to make them ready for the next day. This was just the
first day of the Prologue leg with a major part of the event, which will progressively
become tougher especially when it goes to off-road locations for the Predator,
Terminator and the Twilight Zone stages, still remaining. Motown India website www.motownindia.com will be updating the
progress of the race on a daily basis.
Source: FMSCI / Cougar Motorsport
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