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Old 25th January 2013, 15:37   #1
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Default 2012-13 Mahindra Offroad Trophy

Prelude: many of you might have seen pictures of various Great Escapes organized by Mahindra across India in 2012. Those great escapes also had a separate section for ‘Trophy Event’. Out of seven great escapes conducted around India they selected four (winner, runner-up, 2 Wild card entries) participants based on pre-defined and pre disclosed point system from each event. Then these selected participants were invited to Igatpuri (near Nashik) for finals.
http://wikitravel.org/en/Igatpuri

And these were the prices:
Winner: Mahindra Thar with AC and immobilizer
First runner-up: A 20 days all sponsored trip for two to ‘Monastery Escape’
Second runner-up: five Maxxis mud terrain tyres

Below were the places where ‘Mahindra Adventure’ organized these events
1) Lonavala (Maharashtra)
2) Goa
3) Jaipur
4) Sakleshpur (Karnataka)
5) Kohima
6) Chandigarh
7) Kottayam

Below is list of shortlisted offroaders from different great escapes.

Kottayam
Winner Prem Kumar
Runner Up C B Paul
Wild Card Sam Kurian
Wild Card Javeen Mathew
Wild Card Kurian Kurian

Lonavla
Winner Shubhendra Singh
Runners Up Nishant Chhabria
Wild Card Ankit Tank
Wild Card Gogi Singh

Goa
Winner Vijay Reddy
Runner Up Allan Almeida
Wild Card Ivo Braganza
Wild Card NAVIN B. N. TARI

Chandigarh
Winner Lokinder Singh Brar
Runner Up Kabir Waraich
Wild Card GURBINDER Brar
Wild Card Dushyant Khosla

Saklespur
Winner Kishore Shetty
Runner Up Tejas P Shindolkar
Wild Card Abhijith Pai
Wild Card Keerthi Kumar

Jaipur
Winner Sunny Sidhu
Runner Up Sarvinder Singh
Wild Card Sidharth Singh Rathore
Wild Card Gaurav Lamba

Kohima
Winner Rizat Shishak
Runner Up Kevilenyu Sekhose
Wild Card Khrievituo Kire


Initially we received communique from Mahindra Adventure stating that finals will be held at same place where Lonavala great escape was being held. But to avoid controversy and undue advantage to offoraders who have been selected from Lonavala they changed venue to Igatpuri, they also changed dates from early December to early January.
Logistics for all participants (flight tickets, cabs, hotel etc) was taken care by Mahindra Adventure.

Below is the itinerary sent by Mahindra to give you brief idea on level of details they went into. I am also posting this, so it can used by any offroad event organizer as a ready reference.

10th January 2013 (Morning) – Departure from your base location and check-in at Mystique Valley at Igatpuri (near Nasik)
11th January 2013 (Morning) – Semi Final at Mahindra Off road Training Academy track at Igatpuri
12th January 2013 (Morning) – Final round at Mahindra Off road Training Academy track at Igatpuri
12th January 2013 (Evening) – Prize Distribution celebrations at Mumbai
13th January 2013 (Morning) – Departure to respective base locations

10th January 2013:
________________________________________
14:00 Hrs Onwards - Check in procedures and relax in Hotel (on twin sharing basis)
18:00 Hrs - Draw of Lots on vehicles
19:oo Hrs - Competitors Briefing
20:30 Hrs – 22:00 Hrs - Dinner

11th January 2013:
________________________________________
06:30 Hrs – 07:30 Hrs - Break fast
07:30 Hrs - Depart from Hotel towards Track.
08:00 Hrs - Semifinal Competition starts
13:00 Hrs – 14:00 Hrs - Lunch Break and lunch at off road track premises
14.00 Hrs – 17.30 Hrs - Semi-final competition continues
19:00 Hrs Onwards - Results for Semi-final followed by Gala Dinner

12th January 2013:
________________________________________
06:30 Hrs – 07:30 Hrs - Break fast
07:30 Hrs - Depart from Hotel towards Track.
08:00 Hrs - Finals start.
13:30 Hrs - Finish of Competition and Lunch at the hotel
15:00 Hrs - Check out from Hotel and proceed towards Mumbai for Prize distribution Ceremony by AC Bus

Day – 1:
offroaders from across country started flocking at Mystique valley since afternoon. We two (Shubhendra & Nishant) from Poona reached pretty late and by that time everyone was settled down, few were wandering around resort and few were evaluating Thars lined up at parking bay.

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While checking in we were given T-shirt, first aid kit and cap. After checking into our room, we saw one docket which had itinerary of three days with every details i.e. about judges, evaluation system, brief on every obstacle, rules etc ( it was a detailed document ala white book to refer if you have any confusion during event) we went to check Thar. As I never drove a Thar, I was more intrigued by its mechanicals, seating position (many told me steering is off center), driver visibility etc. but we were not allowed to drive them before event. It was a pleasant surprise to see all Mahindra vehicles are now shod with Maxxis MTs. All Thars were shod with Maxxis Bighorn(764) 245/85/16 on OE rims. Many of us must have seen Mahindra recovery vehicles shod with HT tires and struggling during various great escapes. I was not at all sure on how this vehicle would be feel like while driving and specially after reading numerous posts on IFS, turbo engine etc, it made me skeptical.
Soon we were called in for briefing/ice breaking session at conference room, where everyone introduced themselves and then Bijoy and Vinay from Mahindra Adventure briefed us in detail about every possible confusion/query we had.
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We were given limited information on obstacles to maintain secrecy. After briefing we were allotted numbers by lucky draw, and two groups of 14 each were made. To save time these two groups were planned to attempt different obstacles at the same time to avoid delays
All driver were given points based on below 4 parameters
1. Driving technique
2. Vehicle preservence
3. External help
4. Time to clear obstacle
Briefing session followed by gala dinner, where we got opportunity to interact with fellow offoraders. It was entertaining evening filled with 4x4 technical discussions, drink and dance, etc. we all must have slept very late.
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Old 25th January 2013, 16:35   #2
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Default Re: 2012-13 Mahindra Offroad Trophy

I feel the 1st prize is quite motivating to participate in Mahindra organized Great Escapes!! i shall push both my rig and luck in the next event.

Good luck to me

Thank you,
Deepak Shivanna
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Old 25th January 2013, 17:21   #3
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Default Re: 2012-13 Mahindra Offroad Trophy

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeClutch 4X4 View Post
I feel the 1st prize is quite motivating to participate in Mahindra organized Great Escapes!! i shall push both my rig and luck in the next event.

Good luck to me

Thank you,
Deepak Shivanna
Deepak Sir,
True, even the event was very technical and skill tester. I am sure next year entries for this event would go up multifold.

Shubhendra Singh
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Old 25th January 2013, 20:53   #4
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Default Re: 2012-13 Mahindra Offroad Trophy

Day 2 - Semifinals
My Thar filled dream was finally broken by wake-up call from reception. Everyone was requested to finish off their breakfast by 7:30 and assemble at parking bay by 7:30. But as usual last night party showed its effect and we could leave resort by 08:00 AM. Before leaving from resort, we all lined up in front of Thars with Ponchos on which participant number was written for a photo shoot.

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We were then taken to MILE (Mahindra Institute of learning) where recently developed track from ‘Mahindra Offroad Academy’ was waiting to test our skills.
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All Thars were lined up and after a customary photo-shoot, Mr Naresh Bhosle (Gem of a person, he is into great escapes since start – 1996) drove first Thar inside newly built track.
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Two predefined groups were taken to different obstacles. I was in first group and we were taken to our first obstacle of the day.

Zig Zag: (maximum time – 5 mins): it was most skill testing obstacle in whole event. It was hill filled with deep ruts, uneven land and loose soil, they marked track with the help of white lines and white bands, as name suggests track was not straight. you have to climb up clearing loose soil and ruts, take sharp left, go straight (straight road was not flat and you need to articulate through uneven ground), very sharp left, go down, clear few more zig zags and reach the stop point. Sounds easy? But there was a catch once you reach stop point, you have to come back to start point driving in reverse gear . and to make even more difficult, they placed cones on strategic location and if you touch them, two points would be deducted. In our group few couldn’t even climb, few climbed, but couldn’t reverse, few climbed, reversed but couldn’t do it within 5 minutes. But few cleared it easily. Judges were standing at strategic location to see your movement, and moment they feel you are badly stuck or while reversing you simply break the side band and go out of line and you get red flag which means you have to stop your vehicle then and your attempt is terminated.
Special Mention: while many like me were happy to finish this in less than 3.3 to 4.3 minutes, Siby Paul did it in 2.something seconds. Although he was not in our group, but I heard about this from few others and next day even I witnessed his skills in another obstacle next day.

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Ridge Clearance: maximum time 4 minutes: it was pretty easy but we needed to keep in mind to preserve the vehicle, which many forgot (mainly because of different power delivery characteristics on Thar). From start point there was a small decline with ruts, then 2 feet of slush, then wall like incline with deep large ruts and left turn and straight few hundred meters which had very deep ruts alternatively to test articulation, to make it tricky it had dry, long grass which was slippery. Although this obstacle was not tough but due to lack of vehicle understanding few offroaders jumped in air which gave good opportunity to lens man. Few friends took time duration seriously and literally few over this trail and ended up with not so good score.

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to be continued.....
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Old 25th January 2013, 21:32   #5
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Default Re: 2012-13 Mahindra Offroad Trophy

Ridge Clearance: maximum time 4 minutes: it was pretty easy but we need to keep in mind to preserve the vehicle, which many forgot (mainly because of different power delivery characteristics on Thar). From start point there was a small decline with ruts, then 2 feet of slush, then wall like incline with deep large ruts and left turn and straight few hundred meters which had very deep ruts alternatively to test articulation, to make it tricky it had dry, long grass which was slippery. Although this obstacle was not tough but due to lack of vehicle understanding few offroaders jumped in air which gave good opportunity to lens man. Few friends took time duration seriously and literally few over this trail and ended up with not so good score.

I earnestly praise Mahindra team for making all obstacles technical. But this obstacle was toughest of all (including finals). There were nine concrete elevated wedges (as you can see in picture) put alternatively according to vehicle width. You have to cross these wedges without let your vehicle slipped from it. Points were given based on how many ledges you clear without slipping off, moment you slip off, red flag was shown and you have to stop your vehicle. Sounds easy? No, it was not. To make it tough, they did three things
a) All ledges were not straight and were slant resulting into slipping wheels
b) Ledges were not wide enough to give you scope of any error
c) A thick coat of white grease was applied to make it very very tough to conquer.
Many couldn’t even clear first two ledges, few cleared 4-5-6-7. But Abhijit from Sakleshpur cleared all of them. No one from entire team of participants cleared more than 6-7 ledges.

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By the time we were done with above mentioned obstacles, second group finished all obstacles except Sprint drive. we all went for lunch at MILE, where we saw a very good display of late 80’s CJ3B with PTO. We also saw all latest models from Mahindra where mechanics and SAs from different ASCs came to get trained. After sumptuous lunch, we all were ready for last two obstacles.

Slush Fest: Time 5 minutes: from last 2 days Team Mahindra were drenching water in a rainy pool which is dry otherwise to make a proper 6000 sq feets of slush pool. We came to know from first group only 4 out of 14 cleared it. And after 14 people have tried their antics on this mud pool, it became next to impossible to clear it.
With saddened face, we all started to try one by one. It was long pool of mud and at the end of the pool there was small but steep incline and after that there was small muddy patch. Maximum distance covered from our group was till steep incline. After so many attempts, land just before incline was dug deep and vehicle’s chassis used to get rested on incline making it next to impossible to clear it. Everyone tried variety of tricks, some attempted from extreme left to avoid getting bogged down in slush, some started off like a jet, and veered through slush but ultimately got stuck in cliff but all went futile and no one cleared the slush from our group and everyone had to towed.

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This is how Thar looked after few reckless and desperate attempts from us

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Offroad Sprint: (fastet time, maximum 3 minutes): I loved Thar to the core in this obstacle. actually it was not a normal flat track but it had incline, decline, deep ruts and long concrete slabs to run on. It started with small decline with ruts, then you small flat (obviously with ditches) and incline with ruts, left straight road, left, deep incline (it was a tight corner, where very few participants must have cleared it in one go), straight, steep incline following with sharp left (again tight turn, where many friends took 2-3 attempts to clear), as soon as you put your vehicle straight, there were two concrete slabs made (similar to service center) according to width of the Thar and then you reach finish line.

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Mahindra Team announced a separate award for this track, and whoever would be fastest would get it. Although points earned from this track were considered for total of semifinals. Although this track was not tough, but some participants literally floored the accelerator pedal and turbo engine showed what it’s capable of. There were few scary moments where people literally threw Thar out of line and went overboard. Some cleared the whole track but couldn’t keep their Thar on concrete slabs correctly, which resulted into negative points.
By the time we completed all obstacles for the day we were dead tired, even though team Mahindra took very good care of us. They had, tea, snack, cold drinks, water, juices available for us throughout the day but sleep deprived bodies, soaked with dirt and sweat wanted a good bath and rest. We all were taken to resort.
At first team Mahindra stated that shortlisted participants from semifinals would be declared on evening of semifinals, but later on it was communicated to us that the same would be announced on the day of finals on track itself. And participants who couldn’t clear semifinals will be made co-driver with finalists and there will be three awards for co-drivers as well.
In a way, it was a good decision (it’s my opinion only) to announce it next day otherwise whoever has not made to finals would have had gloomy night. All participants had restful evening, we all discussed each and every obstacles, did postmortem of mistakes we did (we couldn’t do anything else other than discussing about it) had drinks and dinner together and quietly went to our respective thinking who will be in lucky 14.

Note: All pictures courtsey 'Mahindra Adventure.

To be continued........

Shubhendra Singh

Last edited by Shubhendra : 25th January 2013 at 21:35.
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Old 26th January 2013, 01:48   #6
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Thumbs up 4wd track at Igatpuri

Shubhendra, thanks for sharing your experiences. Overall how did you find the track?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shubhendra View Post
We were then taken to MILE (Mahindra Institute of learning) where recently developed track from ‘Mahindra Offroad Academy’ was waiting to test our skills.
The foundation stone for this track was laid back on 8th March 2011 when we started a basic 4wd preparatory course for newly joined GET's and employees at M&M. This was part of our initiative at the 4WD Centre of Excellence (COE).

It is heartening to see our efforts being shaped up as the 4wd track of "Mahindra offroad academy". It also feels good to know that the adventure team is working to propagate the offroading culture among people through such events.

Quote:
after a customary photo-shoot, Mr Naresh Bhosle (Gem of a person, he is into great escapes since start – 1996) drove first Thar inside newly built track.
You are right, a gem of a person and the grand daddy when it comes to offroading.

Quote:
Special Mention: while many like me were happy to finish this in less than 3.3 to 4.3 minutes, Siby Paul did it in 2.something seconds.
How was his performance in the circuit (cumulative) any idea?

I would like to share some background of this track and the event that we organized at Igatpuri.

The track was then a natural one with no man made obstacles, now there are man made obstacles (slabs / slush) which increases the difficulty level, which is required for competitive events like this. Back then, the track had simple / moderate difficulty levels as the participants were newbies / employees with absolute zero knowledge of offroading.

The initiative from 4WD COE (08.03.2011)

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The customary pooja

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Some of the participants

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Our workhorse

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A random obstacle

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The teacher with his pupils, introducing them to the basics in offroading

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Inculcating good practices

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Showing the importance of teamwork in offroading

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BD Sir - busy helping someone on phone.

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Yours sincerely,


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Spike

Last edited by SPIKE ARRESTOR : 26th January 2013 at 02:05.
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Old 28th January 2013, 11:24   #7
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Default Re: 2012-13 Mahindra Offroad Trophy

Quote:
Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
Shubhendra, thanks for sharing your experiences. Overall how did you find the track?
Though the track was artificially made, but Team Mahindra covered most of the offroading scenario. I would love to do same track during monsoon, it will be fun.


The foundation stone for this track was laid back on 8th March 2011 when we started a basic 4wd preparatory course for newly joined GET's and employees at M&M. This was part of our initiative at the 4WD Centre of Excellence (COE).
You must be feeling nostalgic

It is heartening to see our efforts being shaped up as the 4wd track of "Mahindra offroad academy". It also feels good to know that the adventure team is working to propagate the offroading culture among people through such events.
Yes, at least a corporate entity has taken initiative to make this sport known to common people, hopefully others too join the bandwagon. For offroaders this initiative is like CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)
hi Pratheesh,
Comments on bold.

Shubhendra
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Old 28th January 2013, 23:02   #8
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D-day: Finals-Day 2:
Early morning, again we got wake-up call from reception asking us to be at parking place by 07:00 AM, I was up and awake though. As soon as we reached dining place for breakfast, we met everyone, few were anxious, few were sure that they would make it to finals and few (like me Gogi Ji, Sarvinder Singh Sir) were least bothered about results. We had sumptuous breakfast with fellow participants and assembled at parking bay. As usual after waiting for late comers, off we zoomed to MILE for finals. I was somehow content that whether I make up to finals or not at least I will be able to be a co-driver for top 14 drivers in India.
Once we reached MILE, everyone grouped at the entrance and then Vinon N and Bijoy came with list of top 14. To avoid any controversy, Team Mahindra published points of each obstacle on their website so that people don’t have anything left to criticize. They started announcing finalists from 14 to 1. So I was in list of finalists along with Gogi Ji and Nishant Chhabria), I was happy that we all made it to finals.

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After announcement and quick photo shoot, we were divided in two groups. 1-7 in group A and 7-14 in group B. both groups were taken to track. Today we had four obstacle, below are excerpts from docket we received.
1) Ball in mouth (maximum time 5 minutes): the aptly named challenge has to be attempted to really test the limits of both man and machine. Correct line and proper use of the co-driver (spotter) are necessary to successfully complete the challenge.
2) Sarpanch Challenge (maximum time 5 minutes): you’re on towing duty today. Tow out the Mahindra Sarpanch tractor over a slippery rocky obstacle. Towing technique, vehicle preservation and distance are keys to this challenge.
3) Blind Zone (maximum time 5 minutes): tackle a series of bone-breaking undulations. You may think easy, but not so much when can’t really see where you’re going. Correct lines and vehicle preservation will matter.
4) Winching challenge (maximum time 10 minutes): your buddy is stuck in the slushpit and you’ve to winch him out. Correct technique and adherence to safety will be keys to conquering the challenge.

Blind Zone (maximum time 5 minutes): for group A, it was our first obstacle of the day, unlike other obstacles where we were allowed to walk the track, this obstacle had to be attempted without evaluating the track. After lucky draw (on both days, before every obstacle, we used to have luck draws for participant’s sequence to attempt the obstacle) Sibi Paul was the first one to attempt it. This track was next to mud fest track and it started with long incline with lots of undulation (few struggled to made it in one go), then take right and series of small ups and downs (artificially made by earthmover). Though these ups and downs were small but they were very sharp and unlike over 3Bs or 5x0s, moment you press accelerator even slight and vehicle started wheel spinning). As a non Thar user, it took me some time to get the hang of it, but after already spending one day with vehicle, I was more confident today. Oh, so coming back to topic, yes, once you finish straight stretch, you had to take left with very steep mud mound and after mud mound, there were two ditches in sequence. Both ditches were very steep but not extreme. Few struggled here as similar to name these sharp ditches were not visible and you had to appropriately use accelerator and steering to navigate smoothly. This obstacle didn’t actually need spotter but few used it. Overall most easy for the day but tougher to semifinals.
It was advantageous to others including me as we got basic idea on what to expect by just watching it. Sibi sir was not lucky enough as first there was some problem in automatic freewheeling hubs etc although same vehicle was later used by everyone. Almost everyone from our group cleared this track, though there were moments where few spinned wheels, few had to reverse and go again types.

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Old 28th January 2013, 23:21   #9
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Default Re: 2012-13 Mahindra Offroad Trophy

Ball in mouth (maximum time 5 minutes):
This obstacle was similar to driving in dense forest avoiding big trees, ruts, very tight turns and steep, very steep inclines and declines. Team Mahindra made it very very narrow and there were few turns which seemed impossible to take in one go. Came to know from group B that who attempted it earlier that few from their didn’t clear this track in one go . Once we were allowed to walk the track, we realized that its going to be tough. In lucky draw, Sibi sir again went first. This time Sibi sir showed everyone how to do it in his classy way. Everyone from our group did it, few did flawlessly, few struggled but unlike group 1, we all made it. This track was carved next to the last day's zig-zag and was very narrow.

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light moment during obstacle

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Sarpanch Challenge (maximum time 5 minutes): as we completed last obstacle, we were asked to wait as we they didn’t want us to see how other group is attempting it. Once group B is finished, we were taken to much talked about obstacle (people from group B informed that handful from their group finished it successfully). Once we reached the spot, we got to know that they got ‘Mahindra Sarpanch’ tractor from outside for this obstacle and after few tries of group B members, driver was frightened and refused to be on saddle. Organizers had to scout hard and one Mahindra employee volunteered to be on saddle. This track was around 80-100 mts long, it started at a turn, where start line is marked and tractor is towed to Thar by tow rope, then there was straight road for few meters, then minor slope, and here came the left turn with steep incline and to add to it, it was rocky incline. Judges briefed us in detail about group B’ tryst with this obstacle and mentioned that at any point of time they find that tractor driver safety is being compromised, they will red flag and participant has to stop the Thar. There was a problem as tractors do not have suspension, we couldn’t go fast as it would have resulted into tractor being thrown here and there and red flag from judge. If you go slowly, you won’t get enough momentum to pull tractor to cliff. To add to woes, after group A members tried desperately, rock has exposed further (soil surround rock gave way) and during turn tractor gets locked in front of rock. Group B participants dug down the location where Thar reaches on flat after tractor is on incline, after umpteen attempts hard soil gave way and we had loose soil where we wanted traction most.
Before me 3 or 4 participants attempted and they all failed to pull tractor to the top and got red flag, I started slowly and I tried to keep my vehicle as well as tractor as right as possible to avoid tractor getting stuck at rock, as soon as I hit incline I pressed accelerator paddle to get turbo boost and voila, I made it. After me, all participants from my group made it, but few started real fast and ended up in a locking position as tractor was being pulled on left. Anyways, this obstacle was something different which many of us might have never done till now.

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To be continued.................

Shubhendra Singh
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Old 28th January 2013, 23:33   #10
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Default Re: 2012-13 Mahindra Offroad Trophy

Winching challenge (maximum time 10 minutes): by the time our group completed above mentioned obstacle, group started attempting this obstacle. This obstacle was all about team work and chemistry between driver and spotter. Organizers used the mud pond where we had slush fest previous day. they had put white line along the mud pool and you can park your towing vehicle anywhere along that line. Then Mahindra driver would veer through slush pond and lave the Thar in proper stuck position. Once organizers give you go ahead, you need to unlock winch into free spool mode, get the winch rope to stuck Thar, connect the winch rope to stuck Thar, sit inside the Thar and signal your partner to winch it, you need to be careful to avoid accelerating stuck Thar while getting out to avoid rope being strangled in tyres, you also have to make sure that while pulling your recovery Thar does not cross white line and recovered vehicle being rescued and parked in correct angle. Above all, make sure that you follow all safety procedures in this whole operation. Participants were allowed to use power of stuck Thar as well to come out and anyone (driver/spotter) can opt to be in a recovery jeep or stuck jeep.
As it was a huge slush pound, we were wondering from where to pull. Stuck vehicle was very close to finish point (if you tow from front) but there was huge mound to conquer. Towing from rear was easier but distance was long. First participant from group B (Gaurav Lamba) tried to winch from front, his spotter was one of the best spotter (personally speaking) and their combination made it look pulling from front. Though it was not easy for them and winch had a hard time getting stuck jeep cross the mound but their team work made it possible. Few more tried it from front but none other than Gaurav Lamba and Kurian Kurian made it. Rest of the participants tried to winch out stuck Thar from rear end and made it successful. Few got red flag as either they almost burned winch or rope got entangled in wheel etc. My spotter was active and we were second fastest. Actually I was fastest but the moment my vehicle pulled and we came out of vehicle declaring job done, one of the judge (Vinod N) pointed my Thar not being parked on line. I had to again rush to Thar, start it and touch white line (which was 1 foot away). And it was end of all obstacles for the finals.
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As we had to check out in the morning while going to track, all participants had put their luggage in one room. By the time we finished last obstacle almost everyone was drenched in mud (remember, we had to walk through mud puddle to winch Thar), dust and sweat. Once we reached resort, we all had one bathroom fresh and one room to change clothes (waise, it gave typical OTR feeling). After painting room and bathroom in mud color, we had lunch and all set for Bombay.
Mahindra arranged 15 seater AC buses to take us to Bombay. Everyone hopped into buses, and trip to Bombay started. We reached Bombay by 19:00 hrs, our stay was arranged at a hotel near to domestic airport. After getting ready for award ceremony which was being held at Hilton, we reached venue at around 20:00 hrs. Few bigwigs from Mahindra as well as automobile media, rally circuit were present and various awards were given to Media, Mahindra employees etc.
Finally much awaited result for ‘Mahindra National Offroad Trophy’ were announced
Winner: Kurian Kurian (Kerala)
First runner up: Locky Singh Brar (Punjab)
Second runner up: Shubhendra Singh (Poona)

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Regards,
Shubhendra Singh
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Old 30th January 2013, 08:30   #11
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Congrats Shubhendra for your achievement . You are undoubtedly the shining star among the Pune tribe . I know you as a guy who looks mean ( Bhola ) & your simple no frills machine which is near stock except tires . But you seem to have a great determination inside & you carry that strength .

Thanks for the wonderful write up & pictures .

Please do share the ride experiences with the Thar , wrt the front IS , its low end torque & overall ride impression ( compared to the traditional all leaf , 60/70 bhp machines ) .

I certainly look forward to this, as you have now a very competitive experience of both ( Thar & conventional MM machine ) under your belt

Sudarshan

P.S. actually I was about to ask the same question in the below post , wrt tires

Last edited by Sudarshan : 30th January 2013 at 08:58.
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Old 30th January 2013, 08:51   #12
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Default Re: 2012-13 Mahindra Offroad Trophy

Great detailed report !
Congrats on your adventure !
It will be great to get a feed back on the Thar's real pros and cons , as the machines have been really put to the test .
The Bighorn Mt 764 seems to do its job well ,I guess its is 245/75 's ,love to know whether they scrape the fenders on hard landing .
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Old 30th January 2013, 12:21   #13
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Default Re: 2012-13 Mahindra Offroad Trophy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudarshan View Post
Congrats Shubhendra for your achievement . You are undoubtedly the shining star among the Pune tribe . I know you as a guy who looks mean ( Bhola ) & your simple no frills machine which is near stock except tires . But you seem to have a great determination inside & you carry that strength .

Thanks for the wonderful write up & pictures .

Please do share the ride experiences with the Thar , wrt the front IS , its low end torque & overall ride impression ( compared to the traditional all leaf , 60/70 bhp machines ) .

I certainly look forward to this, as you have now a very competitive experience of both ( Thar & conventional MM machine ) under your belt

Sudarshan

P.S. actually I was about to ask the same question in the below post , wrt tires
ear Sudarshan Ji,
Thanks for kind words and appreciation, it means a lot to me as a newbie to get appreciated by veterans.
Experience with Thar:
IFS: Overall Thar is a good package, but yes IFS has limitation. I am not at all a technical guy, but what I understood after driving Thar is, front suspension is very soft, whereas rear is stiffer compared to front. While steep incline with ruts, front is tend to get bogged and front wheels start slipping. Articulation is limited unlike older CJs and 5x0s. You can imagine, what would be the scene while rock crawling.
Low end torque and Turbo effect: I don’t know exact numbers of Thar’s torque vis-à-vis XDPs and XD3Ps but these old engines felt much more in control because of their linear power delivery. As I never drove Thar in my life before this event, I had a hard time understanding vehicle behavior. Few suggested me to look at RPM meter to see when Turbo comes into action but I think driving old jeeps throughout my life had effect and never saw on instrument cluster (old jeepers would agree). After first day I had much more control on vehicle. But yes, Thar low end torque is much better than gypsy and once you get hang of vehicle, you can do pretty much everything which a jeep can do (may with little struggle).
Many participants who have been driving old jeeps had a hard time taming thar. And at times it was scary to see vehicle oscillating here and there.
To sum it up: for purists it may not be the perfect but folks who want Jeep with comfort (AC, power steering, IFS, highway cruising ability etc) and old school look without wanting to be at mechanic’s place every weekend should go for it. Though pricing of Thar CRDe is a debatable topic !!!!

Regards,
Shubhendra Singh
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Old 30th January 2013, 12:30   #14
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Default Re: 2012-13 Mahindra Offroad Trophy

Quote:
Originally Posted by slalom View Post
Great detailed report !
Congrats on your adventure !
It will be great to get a feed back on the Thar's real pros and cons , as the machines have been really put to the test .
The Bighorn Mt 764 seems to do its job well ,I guess its is 245/75 's ,love to know whether they scrape the fenders on hard landing .
Dear Slalom,
Thanks for wishes !!! Bighorn Mt 764 has an aggressive tread pattern and performed effortlessly during event. Yes these are 245/75/16 and fits perfectly on OE rims. During two days of extreme driving by everyone, I didn’t found them scraping wheel arches.

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Shubhendra Singh
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Old 30th January 2013, 14:13   #15
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Default Re: 2012-13 Mahindra Offroad Trophy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shubhendra View Post
ear Sudarshan Ji,
Thanks for kind words and appreciation, it means a lot to me as a newbie to get appreciated by veterans.
Shubhendra Singh
OMG you called me veteran & yourself as newbie ?? you must be joking ,

To be very frank ; I have seen lot many pics of you & your jeep doing its ' routines ' at various OTRs . I was & am actually hoping to hop in your jeep at some OTR & watch your driving & learn from it or be on foot & click pics . Please give me that chance .

BTW , do you think the Thar's soft front can be used as a plus point along with its brute take off ( compared to oldies ) ?? you know how they do in motocross bikes ? they use the bounce to achieve the climb effect , will it be possible with Thar ?

Sudarshan
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