40 participants to brave the monsoon roads

40 participants to brave the monsoon roads

Commissioner of Police T R Suresh waved the flag to the first few vehicles.

The eighth edition of the country’s only monsoon motor rally, ‘Mahindra Monsoon Challenge’, was flagged off ceremoniously at Bharat Mall on Friday.

A total of 38 teams, all driving Mahindra vehicles, set off from the ramp of the mall towards the rugged roads of the west coast combined with the rugged terrain of the foothills of the Western Ghats.

Commissioner of police T R Suresh waved the flag to the first few vehicles.

Richard Rodrigues, dealer for Mahindra Vehicles (Karnataka Agencies) on the coast, Bijoy Kumar Y, chief of the Mahindra Adventure initiative, ace international rallyist from India, Ashwin Naik, FMSCI president Moosa Sherief, Pana Group of Institutions chairman Dr Prasad Hegde also participated in the flag off ceremony.

Being the eighth edition, the organisers added a 50-kilometre night section for those who opt for it.

The total prize money is to the tune of Rs. 3.5 lakh. The 600-kilometre rally passes through some of the breathtaking sectors, but equally treacherous stretches.

The rallyists will have to brave the severe monsoon rains that are sweeping the western coast. The Mahindra Adventure initiative had three rounds of the race on the route and even charted a couple of alternative routes in case of unassailable blockages of the original routes.

All the vehicles from the Mahindra stables are taking part, which includes XUVs, TUVs and the dashing Thars. There were three all-women teams participating, two teams of couples, which was the highlight of the event.

Speaking to reporters, Ashwin Naik said the challenge is the first rally in India to be held during the monsoons, which makes it unique in the country.