Satish Kumar, Chethan Chengappa win 2022 Rainforest Challenge India

    As winner of the 2022 RFC India, Kumar will get to compete in the Grand Final in Malaysia later this year.

    Published On Aug 02, 2022 01:03:00 PM


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    Satish Kumar and co-driver Chethan Chengappa emerged as the overall winners of the 2022 Rainforest Challenge (RFC) India after a week of competition in Goa. Kumar now earns an automatic entry to the RFC Grand Final in Malaysia later this year.

    This is Kumar’s first RFC India triumph, while Chengappa takes home his third victory as a co-driver (having previously won the 2018 and 2019 editions).

    • RFC Grand Final in Malaysia from November 27-December 8
    • 2021 winner Kabir Waraich finishes second
    • Trouble for early leader Mohammed Fahed VP

    What is Rainforest Challenge India?

    Traditionally held in Goa, Rainforest Challenge India is widely regarded as one of the most demanding off-road competitions in the country, and, over the years, it has amassed a cult following. The event tests competitors’ driving and vehicle recovery skills, teamwork, as well as physical and mental endurance under extreme off-road conditions.

    The eighth edition saw participation from a total of 27 teams across the country – each team comprising a driver and co-driver.

    Satish Kumar, Chethan Chengappa take victory

    Dr Mohammed Fahed VP and co-driver Rajeev Lal held an early lead for the first three days. Kumar took a big hit in Special Stage 1 (SS1) as multiple issues left him unable to score any points. He even described it as his most challenging stage of the event – “If I have to choose the most challenging one for us, it has to be SS 1. Our vehicle toppled once and rolled over twice in that SS. We somehow recovered our vehicle and continued, but at the last obstacle of the SS, our vehicle’s batteries blew up and we could not complete that Stage. While everyone had at least 20 points for DNF (Did Not Finish), we also had penalties and therefore got a zero for SS 1.”

    Kumar and Chengappa moved into the lead at the end of Day 4 and further solidified that with a strong performance in the Twilight Zone. Traditionally, RFC India’s Twilight Zone requires the competitors to enter an uncharted territory from one point and to exit from another point within a specified time period. However, this year they also had to finish three Special Stages while they were in the Twilight Zone. 

    After a week-long battle, Kumar and Chengappa took top honours, with an overall score of 1,895/2,500 points. “It took seven attempts since 2014 when the India edition of RFC Malaysia was launched for me to make it to the overall podium. I feel on top of the world!” Kumar rejoiced.

    Kumar will now move on to the Grand Final in Malaysia from November 27-December 8. He can elect to take Chengappa along with him, however, he also has the choice to pick another co-driver.

    Kabir Waraich second overall

    The winners of last year’s RFC India – Kabir Waraich and co-driver Dushyant Khosla – finished second overall with 1,825 points. N Abinav Reddy and Vishuthi Varun were third with 1,734 points.

    Despite being the early leaders, Dr Mohammed Fahed VP and Rajeev Lal dropped down the order after being unable to participate in any of the stages on Day 5.

    Also see:

    2022 INRC: Gill returns to winning ways in Rally of Coimbatore

    Copyright (c) Autocar India. All rights reserved.



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