The early monsoons brought more than enough rain to the 2018 Isuzu Rain Forest Challenge India that got underway in Goa on Sunday but also led to logistical issues that turned Monday into an early 'rest-day' as the event resumes today.
The team of driver Sanbir Singh Dhaliwal and navigator Gurpratap Singh Sandhu are the current leaders after having scored 20, 90, 95, 90 and 87 points in the first five special stages, respectively (100 being the maximum possible score).
Four stages had been planned to be held on Sunday at Duclet Off-Road Track (D.O.T.) near Sanguem with another on Monday but heavy rains lead to a rise in the level of the water crossing that was the only entry and exit point to D.O.T, forcing teams to spend all of Sunday night and a bit of Monday morning to finish the first five special stages.
Last year's runner-ups Jagat Najappa/Chetan Changappa are second overall with 369 points (20, 70, 100, 85, 84) with Chow Ujjal Namshum/Ingpeng Mein third with 297 points (20, 81, 72, 72, 72, 52).
Two-time defending champions Gurmeet Virdi/Kirpal Tung are fourth overall with 281 points (10, 95, 20, 78, 78) ahead of fifth placed Dr. Chaitanya Challa/Shabarish Jagarapu who have 265 points (20, 10, 69, 71, 95).
None of the 38 teams were able to complete the opening special stage that involved going up a steep incline and back down again twice while using multiple winching points to stop the car from toppling down on its side.
Eight stages are scheduled to be held today at Zori near Quepem and will run late into the night as well.
The running of night stages means that there will be no twilight stage as was earlier the case when the event started in 2014.
Force Motors' last-minute withdrawal of title sponsorship this year sees Isuzu Motors India stepping in as the title sponsor of India's premier off-road motorsport event.