Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Motor-Sports > Indian Motorsport


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 3rd March 2012, 11:10   #1
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 178
Thanked: 77 Times
Default Desert Storm 2012 - TSD Rally - My report

Prologue
I'd been dreaming about Desert Storm since last year. After the 2011 heart break I desperately wanted to go back and finish DS. February couldn't come fast enough!

2011 saw us taking part in a lot of rallies and doing well in most of them. So even though we were 'supposed' to be in contention for the podium at DS, my focus was only on completing the Storm. The biggest fear I guess was that of getting stuck in sand, since I had no experience in serious sand driving.

Note 'I' and 'me' when it comes to preparation and competition. The wife loves navigation but abhors everything else about rallies (car prep, rally talk, stay in hotels, media, COMPETITION etc.)!

Preparations started in earnest even before the invite for applications came out. Bought sand ladders from Maxtrax, mud flaps from Rally Armor, put auxiliary lights (cheapest Hellas), replaced the entire clutch related parts (clutch plates, cover assembly, fly wheel, master/slave cylinders, release bearings), replaced battery/brake pads/air filter/all oils etc. We also carried spare parts this time - two FAN BELTS! (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...itors-log.html (Desert Storm 2011 - A competitor's log))

Documentation wise we were fine since I had already moved to Oriental last year (easiest to get rally cover from nationalized insurance providers). And this year DS also had made its entire application process online, which made it painless for participants.

Started from Bangalore on Feb 15, straight run to Vapi. Slept in a hotel for 3 hours, then drove to Jaipur. Reason for getting to Jaipur early was to practice driving in sand. We stayed in a resort called Desert Trails, and escorted by their tractor, did 20km on a near by river bed. It was fun, and the GV was at home in sand. Did in 4H with momentum, and there was never any threat of getting stuck anywhere.

Scrutiny
Reached the MSIL office in Vasant Kunj on Feb 18. Finished documentation scrutiny, stickering and vehicle scrutiny. Everything went smooth, we were pros at this now Also met a lot of people who I'd only interacted online with. It was nice meeting BHPians @ihrishi and @amitku.

Last edited by oldmonk : 3rd March 2012 at 12:55.
oldmonk is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2012, 11:26   #2
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 178
Thanked: 77 Times
Default Desert Storm 2012 - TSD Rally - My report

Leg 1
Section 1
We got ceremonially flagged off at 12 noon. The first section was a non-competitive 320km drive to Sardarshahar. We reached at 1930, checked into a hotel (Kuber Palace - surprisingly clean rooms for a hotel in a small town/village) and waited for the 1st Leg to begin.

Rally started at 0130 hours on Feb 21. Doing any terrain in the night is iffy, especially when it comes to sand. If you have someone stuck on your track, you need to find a way to go around them without losing momentum, and that is a big challenge at night. Anyway, the route started on tarmac, and turned us off into village roads.

First 3 TCs were ok, according to our ODOs we wouldn't have given more than 1s penalty in any of them. We also figured from the road book that we weren't blindly following the Extreme tracks, and that this was a more 'intelligent' route through village tarmac and broken roads. Though a relief for the driver, it was a navigational nightmare. One had to make quick, confident decisions to stay on route. And all this without the help of GPS (no tracks or waypoints given in this section).

We saw many cars lose their way, coming in the opposite direction, taking U-turns in front of us, passing us, huddled together in road junctions wondering what to do next etc. And we would keep seeing cars because the route was full of loops - you kept passing the same point many times.

It was fun for us, more so because we knew we were doing well. At some point I was running a little late and wanted to make up time. There was a right turn coming up in 200-300m and I thought that would be right place to 'be on time'. Asked navigator for the time to reach there, and then speeded up. Since we had been doing well in the previous TCs, I desperately wanted to be on time everywhere and do well the rest of the night.

Forgot to look at the ODO since I was focussed only on the clock, missed the right and went straight and hit a pile of hard mud. Wheel alignment gone (back driver side wheel camber was out), front driver side shocks gone etc. See the video (taken from GoPro mounted on the windscreen - gives crappy night time visuals though):



We continued on, praying car would last the rally. Rest of the night was ok, we got 3 or 4 more TCs and were generally ok on time.

But after the 7th TC, we lost our way. We tried coming back to the last known point on the roadbook and then trying to navigate further, but failed each time. On the fourth attempt, we saw a marshall who told us that the rest of the section was cancelled. He made a convoy of all the compeition vehicles he had found roaming around aimlessly, and we went back to the hotel.

Apparently the problem was that there was an early morning marriage procession that blocked some competitors and the route also was blocked by some of the wedding party's buses.

Whatever it was, I was very happy to get back to the hotel for a much needed sleep!

Section 2
We slept for a couple of hours, had breakfast, and started Section 2 of Leg 1 at 1100 hours. This time it was serious business for the driver. We were thrown into a sandy track pretty early in the stage. The speeds also were pretty high, and not attainable because of the traffic ahead - slow vehicles in our category, back markers in the extreme bike category etc. This made navigation a little easier; since we were always running late, navigator didn't have to bother with the calculator!

The section was good. GV enjoyed the sand. I didn't have to do much other than keep momentum. Mostly 1st and 2nd gears on 4H. We caught up with a lot of competitors but had to wait until it was safe to overtake, losing time in the process. I wasn't very worried since I knew most of our competition would be facing the same issues.



We ended the day overall 1st, with a penalty of 13:11.

Last edited by oldmonk : 3rd March 2012 at 13:58.
oldmonk is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2012, 11:37   #3
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 178
Thanked: 77 Times
Default Desert Storm 2012 - TSD Rally - My report

Leg 2
This leg was from Bikaner to Jaisalmer. Started on hard grit, then more sand. By now, I was confident that we wouldn't get stuck in sand unless I did something stupid. Only worry was that the front driver side shocks were completely gone and that I would have to slow down for hard ruts and crests. Day went smooth, late most of the way. I knew others were gaining but since we had a comfortable lead (over 2 minutes) in leg 1, decided to take it easy on the car.

Leg 2 also had two sections - 1st section challenged the driver with high speeds and very sandy terrain, while the 2nd section was tough on the navigator. We gave a lot of late penalties in the 1st section, but only 0-2s in every TC in the 2nd. Our team had a mediocre driver but one of the best navigators going around

Sand:


Grit:


We finished in Jaisalmer, 2nd in leg with a penalty of 20:04. Still led the cumulative tally though, more than 5 minutes lead over the nearest car, with a total penalty of 33:15.

Last edited by oldmonk : 3rd March 2012 at 13:04.
oldmonk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2012, 11:42   #4
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 178
Thanked: 77 Times
Default Desert Storm 2012 - TSD Rally - My report

Leg 3
Leg 3. Our nemesis! Last Desert Storm, while running overall 4th and gaining fast to be 2nd, the car's water pump belt snapped in Leg 3 and we were DNF. And in Raid de Himalaya 2011, while running overall 7th and leading our class, we lost 1 hour at a TC because of car issues. Again in Leg 3.

Logically we shouldn't care about all this, but rallying makes you superstitious! There are so many things that can go wrong, that you have to pray/cajole/bribe God to somehow let you finish

We started from Jaisalmer. Grit and sand, and again high asking speeds. Penalties weren't bothering us much anymore. We just wanted to drive as fast as we could without breaking the car. The section got over fast without troubling the car much (thank God! ), and we went on a long transport to Bhuj - 575 km on a National Highway. We stopped during transport at a MASS to check the condition of the car. This was the first time any mechanic was looking at the car after the 1st day's mishap. We were fortunate that nothing was bent or broken. Only problem was shocks leaking oil. Mechanic assured me that I would finish the rally and reach Bangalore if I drove slow on bad surfaces. Relieved, we continued and reached near Bhuj where Leg 3 Section 2 was going to start.





Section 2 started at 2115. Tarmac for about 10km, then on to Rann at high speeds. We wouldn't have done more than half a minute of the stage, when we were asked to stop by a marshal. The stage was cancelled! Hallelujah!! We couldn't care less why the stage was cancelled... leg 3 was over and we had survived our jinx!

The marshal collected all cars who had entered the stage, formed a convoy, and we went to our night halt.

We finished the leg on top, with a penalty of 06:16. Our overall penalties were 39:31, leading 2nd by almost 10 minutes.

Last edited by oldmonk : 3rd March 2012 at 12:42.
oldmonk is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2012, 11:44   #5
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 178
Thanked: 77 Times
Default Desert Storm 2012 - TSD Rally - My report

Leg 4
This was going to be Bhuj camp-to-camp, and the longest competitive leg of the rally. For Extreme, it was supposed to be 400km, and for us Endure, it would be similar. I had already filled the tank previous night, and knew I would have the range if done without A/C. Road book came, and it was going to be two 180km sections (same route done twice). Speeds were high, but then in the Rann one can make up time because of the fast, flat surface. We nailed both the sections here, giving up only seconds in each section.



Finished the leg with 00:23, the best timing among everyone. We were still overall 1st with a total penalty of 39:54.

Last edited by oldmonk : 3rd March 2012 at 12:47.
oldmonk is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2012, 11:47   #6
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 178
Thanked: 77 Times
Default Re: Desert Storm 2012 - TSD Rally - My report

Leg 5
Last day! Get out of Rann in a small competitive stage, and then the transport to Ahmedabad.

There was no way anyone could catch us unless something happened to the car. I think I was praying through out the drive! The section was easy, with long flat tracks, and though the transport stage was tight (you could lose time here also, if you are late), we managed to reach Ahmedabad with 30 minutes to spare.

We were 3rd in this leg with 02:08. And still overall 1st with 42:02, 11:20 from the nearest car!
oldmonk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2012, 11:50   #7
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 178
Thanked: 77 Times
Default Re: Desert Storm 2012 - TSD Rally - My report

Epilogue
PD was on 25th night. Met @ramkya1 and spent some time with him. Nice. Also went to an after party with the army team. Nice too. After a well deserved 6 hour sleep (longest in the last 5 days!) we started back from Ahmedabad on 26th morning. Plan was to drive in one sitting to Bangalore. On the way, had the good fortune of meeting @hvkumar and @jeepcaptain who were on their way to Bombay. We followed their cars for a bit, and I had the honour of being led by the HighVayKing himself across the Golden Bridge in Ankleshwar

After 3000km of rallying on bad shocks, luck finally caught up with us. 80km from Bombay, the car stopped. Engine was running, but engaging the clutch wasn't giving me any drive. Luckily, there was a towing guy nearby, and we towed it to a Maruti dealer in Thane. Next day figured out that the rear propeller shaft wasn't turning the wheels. Dismantled it, and saw that its teeth had worn out. Technician felt that the shaft could've misaligned during some impact and the teeth slowly wore away. Maruti flew down the part the next day, it got fixed, and I drove back to Bangalore.
oldmonk is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2012, 11:53   #8
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 178
Thanked: 77 Times
Default Re: Desert Storm 2012 - TSD Rally - My report

Notes
1) Wow, what a relief! Completed Desert Storm!!

2) We got into TSD rallying because it was something we could do in our OWN car. Even though we were approached by factory teams, we HAD to do Desert Storm (senti value since DS11 was our first big rally and all) in our car. So we went in the GV, with no service support. It was tough, and scary at times, but I think there were so many people (friends, family, competitors, marshals) wishing us well that their collective positive vibes helped us past the finish line!

To put it in perspective, all top 3 in Explore, and 2nd and 3rd in Endure were factory supported teams with service crews.

3) I was very happy with our performance. We were consistent - won 3 out of 5 legs, and came a close 2nd and 3rd in the other two.

4) Desert Storm 2012, especially legs 1 and 2, was the best route I have EVER seen in a TSD rally. Each day there were sections to challenge the driver and navigator separately. Unless you were a good team, there was no chance of doing well in this rally. DS wasn't like other rallies where mindless high speeds were given just to make the event 'tough'. It was obvious that a lot of thought was put into the route design. Amazing effort by Sudev and his route team, congrats!

5) Atleast until next month, when Dakshin Dare starts, we are the defending champions in 2 of the 3 longest cross-country rallies in India. Sweet
oldmonk is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2012, 17:31   #9
Team-BHP Support
 
suhaas307's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 8,004
Thanked: 6,155 Times
Default Re: Desert Storm 2012 - TSD Rally - My report

Note From Team-BHP Support-Team: Thread moved from Assembly Line to The Indian Motorsport section. Thank you for your valuable contribution!
suhaas307 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2012, 17:45   #10
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 178
Thanked: 77 Times
Default Desert Storm 2012 - TSD Rally - My report

Car pics by Nitin Yadav, PD pic by Ramki (@ramkya1). Thanks guys!
Attached Thumbnails
Desert Storm 2012 - TSD Rally - My report-ds12_0146.jpg  

Desert Storm 2012 - TSD Rally - My report-ds12_1286.jpg  

Desert Storm 2012 - TSD Rally - My report-ds12_3196.jpg  

Desert Storm 2012 - TSD Rally - My report-ramkypd.jpg  

oldmonk is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2012, 18:21   #11
Senior - BHPian
 
ramkya1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Ahmedabad
Posts: 1,815
Thanked: 358 Times
Arrow Re: Desert Storm 2012 - TSD Rally - My report

Hai,

Lovely videos, narration and a well deserved win, great team work.

Saw all the videos, great watch from the ring side view without doing the rally, feels like being there. Thanks for sharing.

That Prize Distribution Photos looks familiar


--Ramky
======
ramkya1 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2012, 18:23   #12
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 178
Thanked: 77 Times
Default Re: Desert Storm 2012 - TSD Rally - My report

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramkya1 View Post
Hai,

Lovely videos, narration and a well deserved win, great team work.

Saw all the videos, great watch from the ring side view without doing the rally, feels like being there. Thanks for sharing.

That Prize Distribution Photos looks familiar


--Ramky
======
Thanks Ramky. See top of previous post, you are given credit for the pic
oldmonk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2012, 18:59   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
ramkya1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Ahmedabad
Posts: 1,815
Thanked: 358 Times
Arrow Re: Desert Storm 2012 - TSD Rally - My report

A picture of your Podium Finish....
Attached Thumbnails
Desert Storm 2012 - TSD Rally - My report-dsc06549.jpg  

ramkya1 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2012, 19:08   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
mayankjha1806's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: BLR/Gurgaon
Posts: 2,133
Thanked: 817 Times
Default Re: Desert Storm 2012 - TSD Rally - My report

Amazing, looking at the video it looks like you drove almost negligible visibility, but i know its not true as the camera could be crappy as you mentioned. Looking at GV doing this speed on sand speaks a lot about its capability as a car. So what was the final position, sorry did not find it, looks like you were overall on the podium?
mayankjha1806 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2012, 19:17   #15
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 178
Thanked: 77 Times
Default Re: Desert Storm 2012 - TSD Rally - My report

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
Amazing, looking at the video it looks like you drove almost negligible visibility, but i know its not true as the camera could be crappy as you mentioned. Looking at GV doing this speed on sand speaks a lot about its capability as a car. So what was the final position, sorry did not find it, looks like you were overall on the podium?
GV did handle very well. I didn't have to do much.

Night time visibility was good until we got stuck behind a car throwing dust. But then it was the same during day too; getting stuck behind someone was the worst thing that could happen..

We were 1st in Endure (4x4 TSD). Other categories were Explore (4x2 TSD) and Extreme (fastest wins).
oldmonk is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Desert Storm 2012 sudev Indian Motorsport 63 17th February 2016 17:18
Desert Storm'd into the Thar Desert and the Little Rann of Kutch //M Travelogues 67 28th November 2015 10:52
Rana dose it again, This time in the Desert (Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm 2009) bhogalrajnish Indian Motorsport 2 2nd March 2009 22:38
Need help -- Desert Storm rally 2006 bhogalrajnish Indian Motorsport 3 10th March 2006 21:14
desert storm rally rallystar Indian Motorsport 12 25th February 2006 10:01


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 15:10.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks