Rainforest Challenge India returns; Kabir Waraich bags victory

    Published On Sep 06, 2021 11:52:00 AM

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    Waraich and co-driver Khosla earn an automatic entry to the Rainforest Challenge Global Series Finale in Malaysia.

    Gerrari Offroaders Chandigarh’s Kabir Waraich and co-driver Dushyant Khosla took home the overall Champions Trophy at the 2021 Rainforest Challenge India. The seventh edition of what is considered to be one of India’s most challenging off-road competitions returned after a year off due to the COVID-19 situation.

    As winners of the event, Waraich and Khosla have both earned free entry to the Rainforest Challenge Global Series Finale which will be held in Malaysia.

    • 21 teams participated in the 2021 Rainforest Challenge India
    • Anand V Manjooran 2nd overall

    2021 Rainforest Challenge India

    The 2021 edition of the Rainforest Challenge India was pushed back from the usual July-end peak monsoon dates due to the pandemic. But Goa didn’t disappoint, with the rain pouring down and setting the stage for some truly tough off-road challenges .

    Despite the last-minute approvals, a total of 21 teams from across the country participated in the event. Moreover, this year’s edition stuck to the full 26-stage format of the Rainforest Challenge. The Special Stages (SS) were designed to test the participants’ driving and vehicle recovery skills, team spirit, as well as their physical and mental strength in extreme off-road conditions.

    Waraich, Khosla win 2021 Rainforest Challenge India

    It was a tight battle between Waraich and Anand V Manjooran (co-driver Vishnu Raj) of team KTM Jeepers. Heading into the final day, just six points separated the two, with Manjooran in the lead. But Waraich put up a splendid display in the final four stages to clinch victory with a total of 2155 points (out of a maximum of 2600).

    Manjooran settled for 2nd place overall, 11 points adrift. Dr Mohammad Fahed VP (co-driver Rajeev Lal) of Team Gulf First picked up 3rd place overall with 2014 points.

    For Waraich, who finally clinched the overall title on his seventh attempt, it was a dream come true. “This is a dream come true for me but it is yet to sink in. I have participated in all the editions of RFC India and while I managed to get a podium finish in the first two editions, the Champions Trophy had always eluded me,” he said.

    And it wasn’t an easy road to victory. “In fact, this year was also quite dramatic; the person who was originally supposed to be my navigator broke his leg two days prior to the competition. So, I asked Dushyant to be my co-driver and thankfully he immediately agreed,” Waraich added.

    “Our vehicle reached Goa just one hour before the competition started and then we had a DNF (Did Not Finish) in the very first SS. We were facing some issue or the other with the vehicle’s tyres throughout the competition and lost some crucial points even in our first SS on the last day. That’s when I decided that I will push myself to the limit and not give up. So, we gave it our all and got full points in the last four SS of the competition.”

    The other key awards handed out were:

    Winner (Up to 1610cc – Petrol or Diesel): Kabir Waraich (co-driver Dushyant Singh)

    Winner (1611 to 3010cc – Diesel): Dr Mohammad Fahed VP (co-driver Rajeev Lal)

    Winner (1611 to 3010cc – Petrol): Ibrahim Firaz Shaikh (co-driver Imran Garag)

    Winner (Above 3010cc Petrol): Shemy Musthafa (co-driver Muhammad Nabil)

    Also see:

    2021 INMRC: Rajini Krishnan, Jagan Kumar win in Round 1

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