Dona Paula (Goa), July 21 (IANS) A total of 39 teams, each consisting of a driver and a co-driver, will compete at the fifth edition of the Isuzu Rainforest Challenge (RFC) India off-road motorsport event, starting from Sunday.
Out of the 39 contenders, 10 of them are from Kerala, while Chandigarh and Delhi are sending three teams each. Four teams hail from Goa, while Hyderabad has seven representatives.
Five teams are from Karnataka, including a ladies team, while three teams hail from Maharashtra and Arunachal Pradesh each and one team is from Tamil Nadu.
The top Indian driver of the competition will be getting monetary benefits worth $10,000, including a free automatic entry worth $3,900 to the Rainforest Challenge (RFC) Global Series Finale to be held in Malaysia at the end of the year.
Cougar Motorsport’s Founder & Director, Ashish Gupta said, “This year we have the first-ever participation from the North-East; the host state is sending its largest-ever squad; we also have a record 10 teams from Kerala, which is the highest number of participating teams from any state ever. We have always desired to grow this sport beyond its male-centric image and I am delighted to welcome an all-ladies team, after a gap of four years.
“The interest in RFC India among Indian offroaders, which supersedes all boundaries of age, gender and region, proves that we have been successful in our quest of uniting the best offroading talent of India on a single platform.”
Gupta said that as many as 13 rookie drivers will be participating this year.
The competition will be spread across 26 Special Stages (SS) that will test the contestants’ driving and vehicle recovery skills, team spirit and their physical and mental endurance under extreme off-road conditions.
Based on a point system, the competitors will earn set-points on successful completion of stages. However, penalties will be incurred in case of failure to complete a task, non-adherence to the rules or environmental damage at the event location.
The event will be kicked-off in off-road terrains in the Goan hinterlands and gradually move towards the urban centres.
Screening the participating vehicles for their adherence to RFC India mandatory specifications, the vehicle scrutiny was held today at the International Centre Goa (ICG) in Dona Paula. The contestants who successfully cleared the scrutiny proceeded for a ceremonial flag-off, held at the same location.
The first set of the Special Stages will be held at DOT in Village Kumbhari of Taluka Sanguem on July 22 and 23.
The competition convoy will thereafter move to Suquerbag in Quepem, where Special Stages will be held on July 24 and 25 and to the Green Hills Agri Farm in Maina, Quepem on July 26 and 27.
The competition will culminate at the Rajiv Gandhi IT Habitat in Dona Paula on July 28.