Mahindra Great Escapes are essentially one day adventure trail events which Mahindra has been conducting for over 20 years now only to be established as a formal event since the inception of Mahindra Adventure back in 2011. Needless to say, Mahindra Great Escape off-roading is unique, fun filled and drives to remember – always!
The 149th Great Escape was held in Goa on the 7th-8th July 2018 kicking off the Great Escape series on the calendar. The Great Escape will comprise of 6 events in total spanning across the country at Sakleshpur, Wayanad, Hyderabad, Ranchi and finally at Chandigarh. The winner of the Trophy Challenge will take home a brand new Thar CRDe 4×4!
Anyone who has visited the interiors of Goa during monsoons will agree that the hep and happy Goa transforms itself into an off-roader`s paradise, full marks to Mahindra Adventure for selecting the apt location. The 2018 Great Escape was a 2 day event with day one being more like a trail drive – quite a challenging one we must say.
Day 2 was dedicated to a competitive – Trophy Challenge, which culminates in Chandigarh later this year. Both the events were held in Sanguem – south region of Goa fringe areas of Cavelossim. The route ran through tight and twisty rain forest like trail with 3 stream crossings, while the Trophy Challenge was held in Laterite rock quarries around Sanguem. The route was charted by ace rallyists Musa Sheriff and Ashwin Naik, there was no doubt that it was going to be tough, challenging and technical.
Day 1 – Great Escape was flagged from Club Mahindra – Varca with all the participants driving in a convoy to the location. We got our hands on a fresh Thar CRDe 4×4 with barely 1200kms on the odo. After the customary sticker-ing of our Thar, we rolled on with the convoy to the location. The 30odd km drive to the location gave us a small window to get accustomed to the Thar which was stripped down of any external overhangs-outriggers, but also came with the mightily capable Maxxis BigHorn 764 M/T tyres. As we drove towards the location, we couldn`t help but notice the constant improvement in build quality of the Thar`s interiors.
The trail started with a stream crossing followed by an almost vertical wall like mound for which the recovery Invader was pressed into service as this became a challenge for many out of the 40 vehicles. Exposed slippery tree roots, rocky patches, deep slush pits numerous stream crossings meant that the trail had all the ingredients to make the route exciting as well as challenging.
Day 2 – The round 1 of the Trophy Challenge was only for the competing participants and was a points based event. Being held at laterite mining fields , red silken slush was abundant throughout the course. The Trophy Challenge classifies the entrants in two groups – Stock and Modified. Only Mud Terrain tyres (upto 31”) and off road bumpers are allowed in the Stock category over and above which it would be classified as Modified. Roll cage in both categories is compulsory.
The Trophy challenge saw the participants manoeuvre through short tight, technical courses within stipulated times while collecting the flags and missing penalties for the best scoring chance.
Mr Dattaraj Lawande and Mr Krishna Bhobe were declared winners in the Stock Category. Mr Earl Braganza was declared winner in the Modified Category, while Mr Tejas Prakash Shindilkar emerged as the First Runner-up. In the Ladies Category, Ms Maithili Bhobe was declared the winner.
With the round one of the Trophy Challenge concluded, the Great Escape moves to Sakleshpur for the next leg. The entire calendar of events can be found on the Mahindra Adventure website.