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Old 12th November 2009, 04:03   #16
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Turns out I'm right! I know him through a personal friend and have heard alot about his passion for the sport. I'd wish the best to this endeavor.

Ashish Gupta - at Anagha Capital | LinkedIn - its a small world
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Old 12th November 2009, 09:01   #17
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Cougar Motorsport | Facebook

All you need to is google for more info
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Old 12th November 2009, 09:26   #18
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Any one here participating?
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Old 30th November 2009, 11:11   #19
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The official press release:

Quote:

The Desert Dash 09 flagged off from Delhi


New Delhi, November 28, 2009: Desert Dash 09, exclusively featuring only Premium Street legal SUVs and Sedans in a rally format for the first time, was ceremonially flagged off from the capital’s newest luxury hotel, The Aman New Delhi, Lodhi Road on Saturday. The rally is the maiden venture of Cougar Motorsport, a motorsport club in North India that brings together the experience of motor sport competitors, officials and event management specialists. Officially commencing on Sunday, the event has been divided into four legs to be driven across four days through the vast expanse of the Thar Desert, combining both on and off-road routes, thereby testing the resilience of both the car and the competitors. 17 cars have been cleared to compete and there are eight women among the 36 competitors.

The Desert Dash 09 will be unique in more ways than one as it will combine the thrill of motorsports with the luxury of some of Rajasthan’s fine, hand-picked palace hotels. Flagged off from The Aman New Delhi, Lodhi road, it seeks to end its quest for peace at the magnificent Amanbagh near Alwar. The entries have been restricted to premium class, street legal SUVs and Sedans, which is also a first as such an elite grouping has never been tested together in the classic rally format. The rally will have two separate categories for both two-wheel drive (2WD) and four-wheel drive (4WD) Noted Auto journalist Murad Ali Baig has also confirmed his participation.

The Desert Dash is a Closed Invitational Event, approved by FMSCI and with limited participation. The four-wheeled beauties on display in the inaugural event would include cars like the BMW X5, Porsche Cayenne, Volkswagen Touareg, Mercedes M Class, Mercedes E Class, Mitsubishi Montero, Pajero & Outlander, Toyota Prado & Land Cruiser, Honda CRV and Ford Endeavour among others. The participants include CEOs, senior executives, business owners and golf club members.

Thrilled at seeing their efforts bear fruit, Mr. Ashish Gupta, Director of Cougar Motorsport said, “We are ecstatic to see, what started off as a discussion between friends at the bar, the realization of our efforts. All of us at Cougar Motorsport are professionals with large organisations who have experienced firsthand the added dimension that motorsport can bring to executive life. We are thankful to the other participants to take time off from their extremely busy schedule to make this possible. We believe that this is a small beginning to a great future for Cougar Motorsport.”

Amanresorts is the hospitality partner, Fortis Healthcare is the medical partner and Swarovski is an associate sponsor of the event. Andpersand, Outlook Traveller and AutoXchange are the media partners across the lifestyle, travel and auto verticals. A crew from Times Now television is also participating and covering the event.
And some pictures from the event

Luxury RALLY in the desert EDIT: Pics on page 2-dsc_1069.jpg

Luxury RALLY in the desert EDIT: Pics on page 2-dsc_1132.jpg

Luxury RALLY in the desert EDIT: Pics on page 2-dsc_1094.jpg

Luxury RALLY in the desert EDIT: Pics on page 2-dsc_1155.jpg

Luxury RALLY in the desert EDIT: Pics on page 2-dsc_1164.jpg
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Old 30th November 2009, 11:26   #20
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Quite a turn out for such a event. Nice to see people are enthusiastic about motorsports.
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Old 30th November 2009, 11:26   #21
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Wow, its nice to see takers for these kind of events. Wish to see more things like this happening in India more often.

And Dippy, I am sure these are just teasers, please post some more of the real action.
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Old 30th November 2009, 19:18   #22
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Ah, a nice lineup there. Not surprised to see Cayennes, what with the steep pricing. Would love to see some more pictures of these imports roughing it out in the sand.
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Old 30th November 2009, 20:07   #23
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There were sedans too? So its not a proper off road event, is it?
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Old 3rd December 2009, 04:44   #24
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No updates? I came to know that one of the Cayenne's had a bash!
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Old 3rd December 2009, 23:30   #25
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Ah, I heard a ringside view that the event was a grand success! Let's await the pics!
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Old 4th December 2009, 11:25   #26
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Saw a Cayenne on a tow truck yesterday in Gurgaon plasteredwith Desert Dash Stickers. IIRC, it was the Cayenne stickered No.1 in the pictures above.
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Old 4th December 2009, 12:45   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anantnehru View Post
Saw a Cayenne on a tow truck yesterday in Gurgaon plasteredwith Desert Dash Stickers. IIRC, it was the Cayenne stickered No.1 in the pictures above.
Spotted this particular Cayenne yesterday. Was parked at the Porsche showroom, Mathura Rd, Delhi.
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Old 6th December 2009, 16:24   #28
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Final Results

Cougar Motorsport
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Old 6th December 2009, 17:07   #29
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Any updates on what happened to the Porsche?
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Old 6th December 2009, 18:48   #30
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The Desert Dash 09 - Detailed Report


Preparations April 7, 2009 – Nov 26, 2009

The idea originated in the Delhi Gymkhana Bar – to organize an Indian Gumball. A few coffee sessions at Costa followed and the team was formed. The concept was defined further as well.

Next was the branding of the club and the event, incorporation of the company, registration of the club with FMSCI, drafting of the supplementary regulations, organising permit for the event from FMSCI, finalizing of the route, booking of hotels, brochure design and distribution, getting the website up, obtaining Rajasthan Government and police approvals, putting in place critical partnerships with Aman Resorts and Fortis Healthcare.

This was followed by marketing to potential sponsors, print and electronic media partners, automobile companies for service tie-ups as well as to potential participants. The event execution planning continued in parallel and included four complete route reconnaissance trips to finalise the road books, tie-up tractors, alert police stations and villagers etc. The participants documentation, insurances and FMSCI license applications, medical briefing of all officials, procurement of radios, GPS units, stationery, tow ropes, and hundreds of pieces of other equipment, printing of stickers, road books, time cards, scrutiny cards, merchandise, trophies, momentos kept us on our toes all along.

It all fell into place by the 26th of Nov. We had Swarovski as our Associate Sponsor, Aman Resorts, Fortis Healthcare, Guardian Pharmacy, Andpersand, Outlook Traveller and AutoXchange as our event partners. We also had 17 entries cleared for scrutiny – less than the 30 we had targeted but incomplete paperwork, other social and business commitments led to some attrition even before it all began. The 17 entries also included 9 ladies in the crew.

Pre-event Scrutiny Nov 27 and 28, 2009

The scrutiny was in the level 1 basement parking of The Aman, New Delhi. 14 cars showed up and cleared the scrutiny on the first day. 2 other vehicles cleared scrutiny on the second day – this included the Mitsubishi Outlander driven by Sunil and Vishal Bansal who drove down all the way from Kolkatta to participate. Car #2, a BMW X5 did not report for scrutiny and was excluded.

It was different from any scrutiny for any motorsport event ever held in India. All the paperwork had already been checked (it was all in our possession as we did the medical insurances, vehicle rally insurances as well as the FMSCI rally licenses). We had an expert to paste all the stickers and competition numbers on participants and officials vehicles. We gave first aid boxes, helmets and fire extinguishers to all participants at the scrutiny bay. Red triangles were available as well for cars missing their original equipment. 3 cases of mineral water to last the event were also loaded in each vehicle. The participants kit bags had calculators, note pads, pens, identity cards, caps and jackets. And GPS units were available for purchase courtesy the Garmin dealer.

Stewards Meeting Nov 28, 2009 1230 hrs

The first stewards meeting was held at The Aman, New Delhi. Mr. Ravi Singhania (Chief Steward), Mr. Bhaskar Patwardhan (Chief Scrutineer, Mr. Nikhil Jaspal (Steward) were the FMSCI nominated officials for the event. Their valuable guidance went a long way in making our event successful and we sincerely thank them for the same.

Drivers Briefing Nov 28, 2009 1330 hrs

The Drivers briefing was held at the Tapas, the bar at The Aman, New Delhi. It was another first for a motorsport event. All the participants interacted with the organizers and officials over an informal lunch. The drivers briefing presentation addressed most issues and stressed on the safety aspects. We thank The Aman, New Delhi for their hospitality and for making everyone feel so comfortable.

Ceremonial Flag-off Nov 28, 2009, 1600 hrs

All 16 vehicles cleared at scrutiny lined up at The Aman, New Delhi for the ceremonial flag-off. These were the Porsche Cayenne (#1); Honda CRV (#3); Nissan X-Trail (#4); VW Touareg (#5); Mercedes E240 (#6); Toyota Land Cruiser Prado (#7); Mercedes M Class (#8); Ford Endeavour (#9); Mitsubishi Montero (#10); Ford Endeavour (#11); Mitsubishi Pajero (#12); Porsche Cayenne (#13), Mitsubishi Outlander (#14); Toyota Land Cruiser (#15); Honda CRV (#16); and the Mahindra Scorpio (#17). The 2WD vehicle category was merged with the 4WD category due to the limited number of 2WD vehicles. They got an exemption for the off-road stretches which they did not complete by collecting the maximum penalties for such stretches earned by any 4WD vehicle.

The flag-off was attended in large numbers by families of participants as well as members of the media. The vehicles were flagged-off by Mr. Henry Gray, GM of The Aman.

Leg 1: Nov 29, 2009 1000 hrs Mount Shivalik Behror – Kuchaman Fort

The start of Leg 1 was on schedule at 1000 hrs from the Mount Shivalik Brewery just ahead of Behror. Parc Ferme was from 0830 hrs to 0930 hrs. Most participants drove the 125 odd kms from New Delhi to Behror and arrived in Parc Ferme on time except the VW Touareg (#5) and Mercedes E 240 (#6) who arrived late and earned the appropriate penalties.

The arrangements at The Mount Shivalik brewery were outstanding. We would like to place on record our sincere appreciation for Col. Mongia, CEO of the brewery who took personal interest in the set-up. He was presented the Patron shield on behalf of Cougar Motorsport by Mr. Sandeep Bansal from Swarovski. All participants and officials enjoyed a hot sumptuous breakfast in the lawns of the brewery before flag-off.

Leg 1 took the participants from Behror to Kuchaman Fort, approximately 100 kms ahead of Jaipur. The total distance of the Leg was approx. 270 kms. All participants received dry rations at the first Time Control which included fruits, juices, energy bars, peanuts etc. – this became a daily feature. The vehicles passed through Samode and Chomu enroute. The leg also included an off-road stretch across the Sambhar salt lake bed. It was another first for any motorsport event in India to see premium SUVs charging down Sambhar lake – it was also perhaps the first time ever that a Mercedes E Class has been driven through the lake! Only 7 participants managed to find the Passage Control – some covered more of the lake than we had planned and got a bigger bang for their buck!

Leg 1 ended with the much experienced crew of the X-Trail (#4) in the lead, followed by the first time entrants in the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado (#7) and Porsche Cayenne (#1). The cars were greeted at the fort with traditional shehanais and tilaks. All participants and their baggage were transported up to the fort over the steep inclines in jeeps. The drinks and dinner on the ramparts of the fort were followed by a fireworks display announcing the arrival of the rally at Kuchaman.

Leg 2: Nov 30, 2009 0900 hrs Kuchaman Fort – Lallgarh Palace, Bikaner

The start of Leg 2 was on schedule at 0900 hrs from the Kuchaman Fort. Parc Ferme was from 0730 hrs to 0830 hrs. All participants reported on time for the Parc Ferme and flag-off.

Leg 2 took the participants to Lallgarh Palace at Bikaner. The total distance of the Leg was approx. 325 kms. The vehicles passed by the Tal Chappar black buck sanctuary enroute. This leg also included two off-road stretches in the sand near Bikaner. A number of participants lost their way in the first stretch and most of the 2WD vehicles which attempted the stage got stuck and claimed the exemption. The Mahindra Scorpio (#17) driven by the team from AutoXchange was buried deep in the sand and ended up testing the horse power of the tractor on the scene. The second off-road stretch was longer and all the 4WD vehicles managed to pass through without any problems. Three vehicles did not manage to come to a dead halt in front of the Time Control and were penalized as per the supplementary regulations on the basis of the report filed by the Chief Marshall present on the scene.

Leg 2 ended with the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado (#7) in the lead followed by the X-Trail (#4) and the Porsche Cayenne (#1). The Ford Endeavour (#9) withdrew from the event as the crew had to return to Delhi. The participants enjoyed high tea at the Lallgarh Palace followed by drinks and dinner. There was also a night drive organized for participants through the desert near Bikaner. This was not part of the competition and participation was voluntary.

Leg 3: Dec 1, 2009 1000 hrs Lallgarh Palace, Bikaner – Khimsar Dunes Village

The start of Leg 3 was delayed by an hour through a notice put up the previous night and it started at 1100 hrs from the Lallgarh Palace. Parc Ferme was from 0930 hrs to 1030 hrs. All participants reported on time for the Parc Ferme and flag-off.

Leg 3 took the remaining 15 participants to the Khimsar Dunes Village, approximately a 100 kms short of Jodhpur. The total distance of the Leg was approx. 175 kms. This leg also included one off-road stretch in the sand near Nokha. All the 2WD vehicles claimed the exemption and the 4WD vehicles managed to pass through without any problems. A Porsche Cayenne (#13) skidded on the gravel along the tarmac on the approach to the last Time Control and hit the boundary fence, damaging the front windscreen and some paintwork. The crew was safe and continued to finish the rally.

Leg 3 ended with the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado (#7) in the lead followed by the X-Trail (#4) and the Porsche Cayenne (#1). The participants enjoyed high tea at the scenic Khimsar Dunes Village and then moved to Khimsar Fort for the night stay. The drinks and dinner at Khimsar Fort were in the ruins of the fort. Participants were joined by Sh. Gajender Singh, the Raja of Khimsar whose love for automobiles is evident from his collection of vintage and classic cars that line the driveway of the fort. He was presented the Patron shield on behalf of Cougar Motorsport by Mr. Murad Ali Baig, a participant in The Desert Dash 09.

Leg 4: Dec 2, 2009 0700 hrs Khimsar Fort – AmanBagh

The start of Leg 4 was on schedule at 0700 hrs from the Khimsar Fort. The early morning Parc Ferme was from 0530 hrs to 0630 hrs. All participants reported on time for the Parc Ferme and flag-off.

Leg 4 took the participants to Kishangarh, on the outskirts of the holy city of Pushkar. The total distance of the Leg was approx. 203 kms. The competitive part of the rally ended here. The participants had to drive an additional 200 kms to reach AmanBagh to qualify as finishers of the rally.

The rally ended with no change to the previous days results and was won by the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado (#7) followed by the X-Trail (#4) and the Porsche Cayenne (#1).

The grand prize distribution ceremony and the poolside rally ball at AmanBagh continued late into the night. The shields to the first three participants were given away by Ms. Robyn Bickford, GM of AmanBagh. All participants received a certificate for successful completion, customised with a photograph of their cars. They were also treated to a specially edited video of the rally and their vehicles in the off-road stretches. There were special crystal prizes for the first three participants as well as a number of other participants from Swarovski.

The participants and officials left AmanBagh the next morning, in gleaming rally vehicles that had been washed and serviced overnight. Another first for any motorsport event in the country!

We thank all our participants, officials and well-wishers for making this dream come true.

Warm regards

Team Cougar Motorsport
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