Rainforest Challenge India: Force Motors retains crown, Gerrari runs them close

Force Motors, with its heavily modified Gurkha Diesel Extreme Offroad Vehicle, repeated its 1-2 finish from last year's inaugural Rainforest

By Vinayak Pande | on July 31, 2015 Follow us on Autox Google News

Force Motors\' Tan Eng Joo/Tan Choon Hong tackled the Rainforest Challenge India stages to repeat their victory from 2014. (Photo: Vinayak Pande)

Mervyn Lim/Hamizan Bin Abdul Hamid made it a 1-2 finish for Force Motors despite one or two nervous moments throughout the event. (Photo: Vinayak Pande)

Gerrari Offroaders\' Kabir Waraich\'s experience at the Malaysian \'mother event\' showed in his performance as well as his vehicle\'s preparation. (Photo: Vinayak Pande)

Gurmeet Virdi/Kirpal Tung led the event for Gerrari Offroaders at the end of the two opening prologue days but conceded it to Force Motors during the \'Predator\' stages. (Photo: Vinayak Pande)

Local favourite Cedrick Jordan DaSilva/Floyd Preston took fifth and ran as high as fourth at one point after leapfrogging one of the Gerrari teams. (Photo: Vinayak Pande)

Increased levels of preparation was apparent not just among the top squads, but also throughout the field. Especially when it came to tyres and suspension systems. (Photo: Vinayak Pande)

Higher levels of preparation brought with it higher level of competitiveness among the entrants and at times it looked to spin out of control. However, the field pulled together when required, especially during the Twilight Zone. (Photo: Vinayak Pande)

Force Motors, with its heavily modified Gurkha Diesel Extreme Offroad Vehicle, repeated its 1-2 finish from last year's inaugural Rainforest Challenge India to take top honours in this year's event that concluded on Friday morning in Sattari (Morlem) here in Goa. Former winners of the Rainforest Challenge Malaysia - the 'mother' event of the RFC Global Series - Tan Eng Joo/Tan Choon Hong were again top of the standings after the week long event that started on July 25 with 2163 points across 26 special stages and a four kilometer long 'Twilight Zone' that had to be completed within 10 hours over treacherous terrain. Mervyn Lim/Hamizan Bin Abdul Hamid were the runners-up with 2095 points.

Running them close and - unlike at last year's event - taking and holding the overall lead of the Rainforest Challenge India were teams from Chandigarh based Gerrari Offroaders who, like a vast majority of the field, came far better prepared for the event this year. Kabir Waraich/Yuvraj Tiwana and Gurmeet Virdi/Kirpal Tung took third and fourth place with 1941 and 1907 points in their Mahindra CJ3B and Maruti-Suzuki Gypsy Petrol, respectively.

Competition winches, dedicated off-road tyres that were at least 31 inches along with better stocked and prepared service crews was a feature across the field of 22 entrants.

The difference between Force Motors and Gerrari ultimately came down - partly - due to the yawning gap in experience of off-roading at the top level between their drivers, which manifested in consistently better performances by Force Motors on stages where inputs of the co-driver was crucial. However, both the Force Motors cars suffered their share of setbacks not just on account of the noticeably longer stages during the 'Predator' and 'Terminator' days that contained at least one tricky obstacle.

Having competed in the Rainforest Challenge Malaysia last year Kabir Waraich's level-headedness during the heat of the competition was very much apparent as was the increased knowledge base among the rest of the Gerrari Offroaders team, which included their third entry of Gursahib Singh/Dushyant Khosla who finished seventh overall with 1660 points in their Gypsy Petrol.

The level of preparation of the Gurkha was also an undeniable factor as the vehicle's heavily modified suspension with seemingly elastic articulation and 37-inch Maxxis tyres proved to be terrific tools for the Malaysian teams to use. Force Motors' Indian team of Sanjiv Singh/Jay Shridhar, however, were ultimately 13th overall with 1197 points.

In fifth place overall with 1881 points, and at one point as high as fourth, was the Goan team of Cedrick Jordan DaSilva/Floyd Preston in their Gypsy Petrol that was always easy to spot on account of the bulk of the crowd on the stages - including the Twilight Zone - converging around their car.

Bangalore Offroad Drivers Association's (BODA) Siddarhta Santosh/Yanrenthung Jamio drove their Maruti-Suzuki Gypsy Petrol consistently to finish with 1871 points and hold on to the sixth place position that they were in following the end of the two 'Prologue' days.

Two more BODA teams of Prashant GV/Rohit KR in their Mahindra MM550 Diesel were eighth followed by Pradeep Kumar/Prithviraj A C in their Mahindra Thar Diesel in ninth with 1527 and 1457 points, respectively.

Charminar Off-road Adventure Club's T Laxmikanth/Abhinav Reddy rounded out the top ten with 1370 points in their Mahindra CJ3B.

Also in the field of competitors - for the first time - were teams from Polaris India that was led by India's foremost ATV driver Raj Singh Rathore, a former winner of the Desert Storm and the Raid de Himalaya. However, the two RZR 1000s and Rathore's RZR 800 seemed unsuited for most of the terrain of the event and only two teams of Raj Singh Rathor/Guhan Shetty and Umesh Rane/Pranay Pednekar were running till the end. They finished 14th and 16th overall with 1038 and 917 points, respectively.

The hosting of two successful Rainforest Challenge India events has led to more serious interest in off-roading by title sponsors Force Motors, with the company's managing director Prasan Firodia admitting interest in collaborating with event organisers Cougar Motorsports to hold an Indian-based series of the RFC, with two day events in various parts of the country.


  1. #101 Tan Eng Joo/Tan Choon Hong (Force Motors/Gurkha Diesel, 2200cc) - 2163
  2. #102 Mervyn Lim/Hamizan Bin Abdul Hamid (Force Motors/Gurkha Diesel, 2200cc) - 2095
  3. #103 Kabir Waraich/Yuvraj Tiwana (Gerrari Offroaders/Mahindra CJ3B, 2609cc) - 1941
  4. #112 Gurmeet Virdi/Kirpal Tung (Gerrari Offroaders/Maruti Gypsy Petrol, 1600cc) - 1907 points
  5. #113 Cedrick Jordan DaSilva/Floyd Preston (Maruti Gypsy Petrol, 1298cc) - 1881
  6. #114 Siddartha Santosh/Yarenthung Jamio (BODA/Maruti Gypsy Petrol, 1600cc) - 1871
  7. #104 Gursahib Singh/Dushyant Khosla (Gerrari Offroaders/Maruti Gypsy Petrol, 1298cc) - 1736
  8. #115 Prashant GV/Rohit KR (BODA/Mahindra MM550 Diesel, 2200cc) - 1660
  9. #108 Pradeep Kumar/Prithviraj A C (Bangalore Offroaders Development Association/ Mahindra Thar Diesel, 2500cc) - 1527
  10. #106 T Laxmikanth/Abinav Reddy (Charminar Off-road Adventure Club/Mahindra CJ3B, 2400cc) - 1527
  11. #118 Sameer Chunawala/Harkreet Singh Sahi (MS4X4 TKG/Maruti Gypsy Petrol, 1600cc) - 1370
  12. #119 Dr. Chaitanya Challa/Manpreet Singh (Charminar Off-road Adventure Club/Maruti Gypsy Diesel) - 1357
  13. #107 Sanjiv Singh/Jay Sridhar (Force Motors/Gurkha Diesel, 2200cc) - 1313
  14. #121 Raj Singh Rathore/Guhan Shetty (Polaris India/Polaris RZR, 800cc) - 1197
  15. #117 Damaninder Singh/Sharanpreet Singh (Northern India Offroad Club/Willys CJ3B Diesel, 2576cc) - 1038
  16. #122 Umesh Rane/Pranay Padnekar (Polaris India/Polaris RZR, 800cc) - 917
  17. #116 Kranthi Kumar Vengala/Dhanaraj Reddy C (Mahindra MM540 Diesel, 3100cc) - 746
  18. #120 Arun Parikshat/Rajsekhara Prabhu (Nissan Jonga Diesel, 3900cc) - 515
  19. #111 Daulat Choudhary/Sachin Chordia (Toyota Diesel, 2120cc) - 351
  20. #110 Hydross Niaz/Sawan Sathyarayanan (Willys Diesel, 2400cc) - 338
  21. #123 Kritidhwaj Sinh Patil/Niranjan Gohokar (Polaris India/Polaris RZR, 1000cc) - 80

Tags: Rainforest Challenge India

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