With fierce competition amongst the clubs vying for the trophy, it was never going to be an easy one. Thar Fest, Mud Therapy, Demolition Derby, Thar Parade, Live Band, Rock crawling & Adventure Expo were the major attractions at this year`s edition while the clubs slugged it out on the off road track. We were present to witness the spectacle up close and personal, here is an account.
Mahindra Club Challenge 2017 is organised by Mahindra Adventure – Mahindra`s Off roadingarm which intently promotes kinship and brotherhood of the off-roading culture and has grown by leaps and bounds in the recent past.
While Mahindra Adventure literally has an Annual Off Road Adventure calendar, it’s hard to put a finger and single out the best event of the lot, so varied and exciting are its events.We were present to witness the event up close and personal, here`s an account.
The Mahindra Club Challenge aims at bringing all the off-roading clubs together which culminates in a magnificent display of skills, teamwork and preparation.This year`s event held at the CIAL Convention Centre – Kochi, with specially prepared obstacles courses, proved a formidable challenge for the participants.
The challenge comprised of various stages for the teams to earn points for the title. Collecting maximum flags with minimal negative marking within 3 attempts was the mantra. While this is not really a race against time, every participant is allotted a duration before time out is called and a DNF for that course is handed.
Post scrutiny, the event was flagged off for a night stage on day 1. Bengaluru based Boda Offroaders sadly had to pull out due to technical compliance related reasons. The 1st stage itself proved too hot, rather too deep and slushy to handle as we later found out.
After the course walk where the marshals explained the course and rules, the 1st team had its face off with the challenge. A deep slush pit, rocky obstacle leading into a trench with a very narrow exit was proved quite arduous to traverse. The course required teams to strategically place the recovery vehicles and winch out the preceding participant in a relay fashion.
The day’s downpour had made the entire course slushy and traction for wheels as well as feet, was at premium. While the Mahindra Thar especially in its souped up avatar is an unbelievably capable tool, at times one just cannot defy the laws of physics! The 1st stage itself needed supplemental recovery by the backhoe loaders kept on standby.
The 2nd day saw the teams racing to traverse the obstacles without attracting penalty points. Only pictures can better convey challenges that the teams and their vehicles were put through. The co-driver or the spotter quite literally is the unsung hero and it was easy to see how much the drivers depended on the spotter`s guidance – very much like a second pair of eyes and ears.
The Demolition Derby attracted nearly half of Kochi to witness how off roading is done. Driving over a pile of junkyard cars sounds silly fun, and is everything but that! As the drivers tried to inch further in their heavily modified arsenal of Thar’s, windshields shattered, roofs caved while bulldozing the junk cars enough to give the spectators a skipped heartbeat.
As the marshals scurried around ensuring uncompromising safety, the participants tried every trick in and out of the book. Spare tyres to fill gaps, waffle board ladders, even strap harnesses: everything was put to task with a common aim – to collect the flag points.
After event, it was time to let the hair down before the winners were announced. Famous band A26 enthralled the crowds with their foot tapping music. The convention centre also hosted exhibition and an array of brands like Hella, Comeup Winch, Maxxis, and even Valvoline were on display. Mahindra`s Thar Daybreak edition which was stationed outside could easily take posers trophy, and proved the crowd favourite for taking selfies.
The Adventurous Hynniewtrep Offroaders (AHOR) & East Jaintia Adventure Motorsport Association (EJAMSA) won the 2017 Mahindra Club Challenge. Team KASC (Kerala Adventure Sports Club) won the Silverware and Team R & T (Road and Track) went home with the bronze trophy –a beautifully crafted and ideated – transfer case casting, befitting the theme of the event!