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Old 5th August 2015, 11:57   #1
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Default Report & Pics: The 2015 Mahindra Club Challenge, Goa

It all started with an email followed by a call with Vinod Nookala from Mahindra Adventure, letting us know about unique event which we couldn’t afford to refuse.
Mahindra Club Challenge
So what was it ? below is excerpt from an email by Manish Sarser telling us more about event and participants.
Please allow me to extend a warm welcome to each and every one of you. The Mahindra Adventure Club Challenge is only a couple of weeks away and we would like to thank you for your support. As you know, the Off-Roading Trophy has been more about individual performances, but with the Club Challenge, the focus will be on the performance of the team. Obstacles are designed in a way where your teamwork, communication skills and ingenuity will be put to the test. Please find attached the rules and regulations for the event.

The following off-road clubs are going to be part of the inaugural Club Challenge 2015:
1. Adventure Achievers (Nagpur)
2. B.O.D.A (Bengaluru)
3. Charminar Off-Road Adventure Club (Hyderabad)
4. DOT 4x4 (Goa)
5. Incredible Off-Roaders (Goa)
6. KTM Jeepers (Kotayyam
7. NIOC (New Delhi)
8. Pune Pathfinders (Pune)
9. Tamil Nadu Off-Roaders (Chennai)
10. V5 Coorg Off-Roaders (Coorg)

We confirmed our entry without thinking twice and to top it all event was held at Goa, I didn’t want to miss Goa during monsoons. We had to share all standard information along with logo of our club, which they would use during event (more on this later). As it was a team event, all clubs were required to participate with 3 vehicles.

Below is description of vehicle specifications
1. Pro Stock Category
Only stock Mahindra Thar 4x4 (CRDe/DI) vehicles will be allowed in this category. This category will only allow a change of tyres (AT, MT), body lift, air intake (snorkel) and a winch. Off-road bumpers and protection will be allowed. All vehicles must retain their soft-top unless a hard top has been installed. Open vehicles will not be permitted. Max tyre size allowed 31inch.
2. Modified Category
The Modified Category will allow any Mahindra 4x4 vehicle with Mahindra powertrains (Engine, Gearbox, Transfercase and non-standard axles). Legal modifications will be limited to air filter, body lift, suspension lift (including non-standard shackles, leaves, coils and shocks), axle ratios, differential locks, exhausts, winches and other recovery equipment (including and limited to high lift jacks, sand tracks, shovels and snatch blocks). Max tyre size allowed 33inch. Vehicles in this category must have a pintle hook installed for trailer operations.
3. Pro Modified Category
The Pro Modified Category will allow any vehicle with a Mahindra body and chassis with open modifications allowed on engines and gearboxes (which may or may not be Mahindra engines). Petrol engines will also be permitted. Shortened chassis will be allowed as long as it is a Mahindra. Altered axles will also be legal. All other legal modifications from the Modified Category will apply. Max tyre size is 35inch. Vehicles in this category must have pintle hooks installed for trailer operations.

The biggest problem we had was to find out STOCK Thar for the event, luckily one of our friend had Thar Di 4x4 and was willing to join us for the event. Another problem was vehicles were being readied for monsoon season and vehicles which we actually wanted to take were not ready. Nonetheless we finally had three Jeeps lines up
a. Pro Stock Category – Mahindra Thar Di 4x4 with 31” MT tyres
b. Modified Category – Mahindra 550 NGCS with DiTc and 31” MT tyres
c. Pro Modified Category – Mahindra 550 with SPOA and 35” tyres

We were supposed to report on Monday 13th July morning time, thus we planned to leave on Sunday morning, little did I know that how that Sunday will unfold its misery to me. I had to stay back till Sunday afternoon to finish something important, in the meanwhile 3 jeeps (two participating Jeeps + one Jeep with trailor as support) left for Goa in the morning.

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And last Jeep (550 SPOA) and I were supposed to leave in the afternoon. That afternoon reinforced my hatred towards ‘Runwa’ winches. As vehicle was opened for modification, while putting back winch on Sunday afternoon we realized that Winch has gone kapoot, we removed another Runwa winch from Bolero to find it met the same faith and then followed by one more winch. After 3 failed tries, we called one of our offroading buddy who was offroading 40 kms from garage, without hesitating he rushed back to our rescue and we successfully had MileMarker winch installed.
All this drama costed us entire afternoon and we were able to leave Poona by 06:15 PM.

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Waving through evening hour rush and non stop spirited driving on beautiful GQ, followed by foggy Amboli ghat, we reached Panjim at 03:00 AM.
Checked into hotel already occupied by our team members and finally slept at 04:00 AM.

Day – 1
It was raining non-stop since last night, typical coastal rains, when it rains, it pours but when it don’t its awful
a)Registration & Check-in: we reached a nice hotel on Miramar beach and saw Jeeps in various sizes and shapes, completed our check-in process, threw luggage in designated rooms, met with various offroaders, old friends and officials, admired vehicles done up creatively.

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View from hotel room
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PS: All pictures courtsey gaadi.com, cardekho.com, Mahindra adventure and respective owners from FB.
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Old 5th August 2015, 12:02   #2
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Default re: Report & Pics: The 2015 Mahindra Club Challenge, Goa

b)Vehicle scrutiny:
this event was serious, we got a hint when we saw level of vehicle preparedness but we were in a surprise as vehicle scrutiny was STRICT, now we got to know why they have allocated entire day for scrutiny. Officials had a looooong check list. We started with our stock Thar which had longer shackles but vehicle was meant ‘stock’ and our scrutiny ended abruptly and we had to make few phone calls to get hold of OE shackles, put it on jeep by ourselves and then come back again for scrutiny only to realize reverse light of one jeep was not working. We spent more than 2 hrs in rain try to repair and were last to complete scrutiny in the evening. And we were not the only one to default scrutiny, almost all teams had something or other to sort out to get all clear from Official.

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Though we had to spent almost entire day to get our vehicles in order but it was a welcome change. Things have become serious now !

c) Driver Briefing: after day long drama, we assembled on top floor of hotel for briefing. All group leaders were called one by one to say 2 lines followed by long and detailed briefing of rules and regulations about event, obsatcles, do’s and don’t’s. I never participated in TPC or RFC so don’t know how elaborate they are (I know they are very strict and elaborate but can’t compare) but this event was serious.
One good clause (may be debatable by many): after every SS results were written on score board, you get some time (forgot the time) to appeal against result but you need to pay INR 25,000/- for every appeal (max one appeal per day). This ensured that teams who are SERIOUS and have evidence/proof on their appeal would only approach Chief Marshal.

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Old 5th August 2015, 12:06   #3
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After customary flag off from local MLA, convoy moved to ‘Goa IT Park ground’, same place where RFC’s prologue stage is being held since last two years. We had to park vehicles in ‘Parc Ferme’ and were only allowed to take out of the area to attempt obstacle and designated ‘service park’ which was 1 hour each day.

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Old 5th August 2015, 12:11   #4
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Default re: Report & Pics: The 2015 Mahindra Club Challenge, Goa

d) SS-1 Mucky relay:
SS-1 was relay race, where all three Jeeps had to participate in tandem, staring with Stock, which need to clear first half of track and hand over the baton to next jeep lined up at the end of first half. But there was a catch, only driver need to hand over the baton to next driver and without touching ground, baton should not touch ground as well.
It started with stock Thar and moderate track, then modified Jeep and less difficult track, followed by pro modified Jeep and difficult track. SS-1 started after sun set, there were spectators every where, in muddy slushy ground. Last part of the track was very difficult where there was a ravine just after a sharp turn, where it was required to put one of your wheels in the ditch, whoever put their wheels in the ditch, got stuck. Few teams including us decided to cross over it to at least complete the entire track but at the end there was 3 feet high 90degree stone wall which you are required to clear to complete SS-1. Whoever crossed over that ditch couldn’t clear the last hurdle, we were luck as we had SPOA and shackles didn’t hit the wall and we completed the track.
Thar with IFS couldn’t clear the same, may be because of low torque and soft suspension.

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By the time everyone attempted SS-1, it was close to 09:30 PM, organizers had a separate enclosure ready to provide us water, tea/coffe, lunch, dinner, snacks etc. throughout those two days.
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Old 5th August 2015, 12:14   #5
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Default re: Report & Pics: The 2015 Mahindra Club Challenge, Goa

e) SS-2 No man’s trench:
There is one big pit in the ground, with bushes, slush, muck and deep incline and decline. This was single vehicle obstacle meant for pro modified category. You need to get down the pit at an angle negotiating bunting and cones (dislodging any of them had penalties), once you reach the bottom of pit, take 90 degree left (multiple forward/backward movement to align Jeep), reach on top of the incline which had rock and slush. Once you reach top, take right turn and drive on side of the pit to reach the opposite side of incline, again go down the pit from back side and take 90 degree right turn (multiple forward/backward movement to align Jeep) and clear STEEP incline (same incline was used in RFC 2015 to winch up the vehicles) which had bushes, rock, slush and two big potholes as well. Jagat Nanjappa sir broke prop shaft here, almost everyone cleared the incline except few unlucky ones who had XD3P engine in their Jeeps (Hyderabad and Poona teams). Day one completed past midnight and we got one hour service break to check and repair our vehicles.

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After that we had to park Jeeps at ‘Parc Ferme’ and organizers ferried us back to hotel.
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Old 5th August 2015, 13:30   #6
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Default re: Report & Pics: The 2015 Mahindra Club Challenge, Goa

Day – 2
SS-3 Rock the Flags:
first obstacle of day 2 was set on artificial gravel mound with big and small rocks. This obstacle was for modified category, It was small incline filled with rocks over gravel and flags were put at different locations inside the track. caveat was driver need to collect the vehicle without opening seat belt and without getting down from vehicle. Once you reach on top of mound, you need to take U turn (which was almost impossible) and come back while collecting flags. Displaced bunting and cones had penalties, almost everyone got stuck or ran out of time. Yellow classic with Di engine and diff lock from ‘Incredible Offroaders’ reached half way and tried to take you turn and got stuck but he was the best performing Jeep (I repented why I sold my classic).

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Vehicles with torquey engine and diff locks had an edge but after few vehicles rock placement so bad that everyone got stuck.
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Old 5th August 2015, 13:35   #7
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Default re: Report & Pics: The 2015 Mahindra Club Challenge, Goa

SS-4 Tricky trailer:
Another different obstacle from Mahindra, meant for pro modified category. They had placed a Jeep trailer at start of the obstacle, you need to align your Jeep, connect the trailer and complete the obstacle. Again catch was to go over two JCB rear tyres buried perpendicularly half inside earth and a ditch and sharp turn. Navigator had a big role here. Team had to ensure they align their jeeps correctly and take mid route to go over those tyres.
Many team performed well and we along with one more team scored highest . Many team struggled to correctly align the Jeep leading to either lost time in attaching trailer or multiple forward/backward movements and Jeep getting stuck in those big JCB tyres.

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Old 5th August 2015, 13:44   #8
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Default re: Report & Pics: The 2015 Mahindra Club Challenge, Goa

SS-5 demolition derby:
Star obstacle of the event, Mahindra spent good amount of money to buy scrap vehicles (few were running vehicles actually), obstacle meant for Pro modified and stock Jeep, where pro modified vehicle had to attempt the obstacle and stock vehicle and team could help the other vehicle. 6-7 vehicles were lined up (starting with Armada, Sumo, Armada, van, 800 and Tata 207 double crew) after line up of vehicle there was a sharp drop which had Big JCB rear tyres lined up.
Most enthralling SS also had various innovative ideas from various teams. Teams used winch from front, their ladders, spare tyres, high lift jack and what not to clear the SS. After few attempts, roof of most these vehicles collapsed, leading to big hole and uneven surface, vehicles also displaced from their designated place. Very few teams completed it within time and it was BODA and TNOR.
But the way put the efforts and team work in this SS was flawless to say the least, they worked as well-oiled machine, where everyone had pre decided task to carry and their iron man (Madhu) lifted big JCB tyre single handedly leading to huge cheers from crowd.
Amazing show put up by BODA team but team TNOR also did a great show and completed within time. Team Coorg though completed the SS but not within time but they also should credit as they were the first team to actually complete the seemingly impossible SS. Few teams had tough time (including us) lifting big tyres, ladders, run around and ended up in various danger positions . A good lesson learnt is physical fitness is MUST.
Again hats off to Madhu !

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To be contineued......
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Old 5th August 2015, 13:58   #9
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Default re: Report & Pics: The 2015 Mahindra Club Challenge, Goa

SS-5 demolition derby:

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Star of the day, who single handedly recovered Jeeps throughout two days. In fact, same JCB abd driver were seen recovering vehicles in RFC 2015
Report & Pics: The 2015 Mahindra Club Challenge, Goa-22.jpg
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Old 5th August 2015, 14:03   #10
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Default re: Report & Pics: The 2015 Mahindra Club Challenge, Goa

SS-6 bridge to cross:
It was team SS, where every team had to collect logs kept at designated place, align them to prepare a bridge, tie them using rachet and tie locker, cross the stock Jeep through the bridge.
Another SS to see team work, different tactics, quarrel……
One thing worth mentioning is many teams had never used rachet and tie locker and they had HARD time getting it in order.

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Old 6th August 2015, 10:55   #11
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Default re: Report & Pics: The 2015 Mahindra Club Challenge, Goa

Results:

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Winning team:
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It was a nice gesture from Mahindra to gift flag of each club to the respective group as remembrance

B.O.D.A. Bangalore
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T.N.O.R. Coimbatore
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Incredible offroaders, Goa
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Pune Pathfinders, Poona
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NIOC, Delhi
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V5, Coorg
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Second runner up
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First runner up
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Winner
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KTM Jeepers, Kottayam
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Parting shot of winner
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Highlights:
• Another great initiative from Mahindra to come up with this idea and recognize offroading clubs across India. Though Arka and team is doing it for years through TPC (The Pallar Challenge) and they should also get credit to pioneer offroading competition in India in such a professional way.
• Vehicle preparedness: It was worth learning for newbies like me, Diff lock which we used to think as a luxury was common across most of the groups, Silverstone competition tyres, equipments and many other small but significant modifications which were done inhouse (we don’t have luxury of vast online buying platform like US, Australia etc.). most of the modifications were in house types, which requires multiple trial and error, N number of hours spent at fabricator
• Scrutiny: Officials were really serious about it, we spent more than 2 hrs to get reverse light of our Jeep working in order to clear scrutiny. No ‘Chalta Hai’ attitude.
• Professionalism: it was from both sides (organizers and participants), no silly debates, professional approach towards event, no loose talk, brotherhood, help others attitude
• Safety: every one took it seriously including organizers, we had penalty for any safety lapse during SS (Eg: winch without blanket and hand glove)

Could have been better:
• As people came from far off, we should have had more SS. Imagine NIOC team coming all the way from Delhi with their jeeps, supports staff etc to attempt just 5 SS. RFC had 6 SS on day 1 of prologue
• Organizers had man power crunch, which led to one SS being conducted at one time, though they had around 9-10 SS ready but we couldn’t attempt all of them.
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Old 6th August 2015, 11:31   #12
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Default re: Report & Pics: The 2015 Mahindra Club Challenge, Goa

Some parting shots of the event:

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Regards,
Shubhendra Singh
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Old 6th August 2015, 11:56   #13
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Default re: Report & Pics: The 2015 Mahindra Club Challenge, Goa

Jeeps, more Jeeps, mud and more mud. You have captured them all. Shubhendra Sir, thanks for sharing these absolutely wonderful pictures and report. These are pictures that make you want to buy a 4x4 (read Thar). The last set of (candid) shots are particularly nice.

Last edited by johy : 6th August 2015 at 11:57.
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Default Re: Report & Pics: The 2015 Mahindra Club Challenge, Goa

beautifull pics and awesome 4x4's....what kind of modification has been done on vehicles with 35 inches tyres???
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Old 6th August 2015, 13:46   #15
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Default Re: Report & Pics: The 2015 Mahindra Club Challenge, Goa

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashroy_6 View Post
what kind of modification has been done on vehicles with 35 inches tyres???
There were three jeeps with 35 inch tyres
1) Jagat sir's 3B with SPOA, Isuzu Petrol engine and diff locks front and rear, refer CJ3B with Jaga sir
2) Incredible offroader's 550 with SPOA and Di (non turbo engine) and HUGE spacers, refer black 550 with lots of chrome
3) Our's 550 with FC differentials, SPOA with folding shackles, new mounts and leafs from some undisclosed vehicle and stock XD3P engine with mild turbo. Change in engine and addition of diff locks and few more suspension and body mods were in order before event but we got too engulfed in SPOA and tweaking that we ran out of time. Another month and this Jeep will be back in action during Poona offroad event in September. Refer white 550.

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Shubhendra Singh
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