City teams raring to make it big at off-road motortsport event at Goa

City teams raring to make it big at off-road motortsport event at Goa

City teams raring to make it big at off-road motortsport event at Goa
Five teams from Bangalore Off-road Drivers’ Association (BODA) will be participating in the third edition of Force Gurkha Rainforest Challenge 2016, one of the toughest off-roading motorsport competitions in the country.

The intensive challenge lasts for seven days and involves driving in forests on rocky slopes and even in streams. With this year’s event set to begin on June 22 in Goa, preparations are in full swing. Madhusudan Reddy, along with co-driver Kumar Raju, will be participating in RFC India for the second time.

“We were under prepared last time having only seen a few videos of the challenge on the internet,” Reddy said. In spite of this, they came third in the ‘petrol’ category. This year he wants to give it his best shot and he is prepping both himself and his Mahindra Gypsy for the challenge. “Last one month has been very hectic. I put in about three hours in the gym and I also have to runaround to get parts for my vehicle and take it on test drives,” Reddy added.

The challenge has several competitive legs – the Prologue, the Predator, the Terminator and the Twilight Zone – with progressing difficulty levels. After a few easier stages on natural terrain, the competition moves away from spectator’s eyes to deserted quarries and forest areas.

Vivek Kuriakose, who is participating along with co-driver Ashok Kuriakose, said, “Certain climbs are very high and you can’t see what lies ahead. On such stretches, the co-driver who is outside the vehicle, acts as the eyes of the driver, giving instructions over walkie-talkie.”  He added that the monsoon rains make things more difficult and sometimes they have to drive through water levels four to five feet high, admitting that the experience was quite scary.

The youngest of them, 29-year-old Pradeep Kumar will be taking part in RFC for the third time. Talking about his vehicle, Thar King, he said, “It is a Mahindra Thar only for namesake. I have replaced nearly all of the parts with imported ones for better performance. “RFC is very challenging because you have to survive in the forest for seven days, carrying your own food, vehicle parts and other supplies.” Expecting this year’s competition to be tougher than the previous two editions, he and his co-driver Prithviraj A C practise on rocky terrain on the outskirts of Bengaluru.

The other two participating from Bengaluru are Lokesh Aradhya (co-driver Rohith KR) and Siddartha Santosh (co-driver Yanrenthung Jamio) who was on the waiting list until his participation got confirmed on Monday.

This brings the total number of teams participating from Karnataka to seven, the highest number of entries from a single state. The top driver at the event will get an automatic, free entry to the RFC Mother Event to be held in Malaysia at the end of the year.