2015 Rain Forest Challenge India: 22 teams participate in the Prologue on Day 1

Team OD Published: July 27, 2015, 07:34 PM IST

The Prologue to the second edition of the Rain Forest Challenge India turned out to be a fitting start to the grueling mud-fest of a competition that we expect the RFC to be.

Force Gurkha RFC India 2015-Prologue SS 1-6 (Image 2)

22 teams took to the six Special stages (SS) that started at the Rajiv Gandhi IT Habitat in Dona Paula, Goa on July 25. The event was flagged off by Taleigao MLA, Jennifer Monserrate along with the RFC founder, Luis JA Wee and Cougar Motorsport founder and director, Ashish Gupta.

The teams got a taste of what the RFC is all about right at SS1 of the Prologue, with Team Polaris India's RZR 800 getting stuck in the miry terrain and Gerrari Offroaders' vehicle getting toppled over.

Force Gurkha RFC India 2015-Prologue SS 1-6 (Image 4)

The second stage or SS2 was, in comparison, easier on the drivers and their vehicles which had to cross two dust mounds and then be brought back to the finishing point within ten minutes. Some teams managed to cover required ground in close to two. Coordination and sync between team members was tested in SS4 where they had to remove the rear right wheel, take it around the car in a clock wise direction and then fit it back properly. Here too, some unprecedented hitches showed up – one team had to frantically fish for a bolt that had fallen into the slush.

No off-roading challenge is complete without the employment of a winch at some point of time or the other – SS6 was specifically designed for this purpose. It involved two five-feet high inclines at 90 degree each, which the vehicles had to cross with the help of a winch and sand ladders.

Force Gurkha RFC India 2015-Prologue SS 1-6 (Image 1)

While the Prologue to the RFC India 2015 had drivers and service teams hard at work putting their machines back together by the end of Day 1, the organisers insist that the days to come will see the difficulty levels of the off-roading challenge increase progressively. The Predator, Terminator and Twilight Zone stages are still remaining and we hope to see more nailbiting action. Stay tuned to OVERDRIVE for more reports all the way from the wet, slushy battlefield in Goa.

Constant rainfall made the first day of the Prologue Leg of Force Gurkha RFC India 2015 a great mud fest

Dona Paula, July 25, 2015: The Prologue leg of the Force Gurkha Rainforest Challenge (RFC) India 2015 has started at the Rajiv Gandhi IT Habitat in Dona Paula. Owing to a consistent downpour, the first day of India's only international off-road motorsport event turned out to be a complete mud-fest with lots of slush making the challenges quite tough. The event was kick-started in the morning with a flag-off by Mrs. Jennifer Monserrate (MLA, Taleigao), Mr. Luis J.A. Wee (Founder & Creator, The Rainforest Challenge) and Mr. Ashish Gupta (Founder & Director, Cougar Motorsport Pvt. Ltd.). Thereafter, the 22 teams that are competing in the second edition of RFC India attempted the first six Special Stages of the competition. 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 the toughest challenge for most of the competitors with several vehicles, including that of Kabir Waraich of Gerrari Offroaders Chandigarh, toppling over. Despite this, Kabir smilingly 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 broken 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. Only time will tell who will emerge as the best off-road motorsport team of India but the first day was immense fun for those who came to witness the motorsport extravaganza.

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