‘Live Young-Live Free!’- Mahindra Challenge Rallyists
“We live young, we live free! We are the living! We are the living! I wanna go where the road is rough, too much adventure is never enough. To find a place where nobody’s been before, I keep exploring, that’s what I live for! We live young, we live free! We are the living! We live young, we live free! We are the living! I wanna drive for miles and miles. I get my kicks when it gets wild. We live young, we live free! We are the living! YEAH!” – Lyrics from Mahindra’s latest “Live Young.Live Free” campaign song.
Mangaluru: Looks like many of these rallyists might have spend a chunk of their lives glued to the TV and get hooked to a few advertisements and their jingles too. Many of them being jeep, SUV and adventure lovers, Mahindra’s latest “Live young. Live Free” campaign has made them fall in love with jeeps, SUV’s all over again- and also made them to join in the fun and sport by taking part in the “Mahindra Monsoon Challenge 2016”. Twenty five teams comprising of nearly 50 drivers plus navigators on 25 different models of Mahindra brand of vehicles set their adventurous journey taking part in the Mahindra Monsoon Challenge 2016 rally that was flagged off on Friday 24 June, 2016 by MP Nalin Kumar Kateel from Forum Fiza Mall.
It was indeed a perfect way to mark the beautiful monsoon season in this coastal City, through this Monsoon Challenge organized by Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) in association with Maheindra and Mahindra Ltd and CEAT. This Rally was One of India’s biggest TSD (Time, Speed, Distance) rallies with highest prize money on offer, and the winners shared the highest prize money of Rs. 4 lakh on offer. The rally comprising of exclusive Mahindra vehicles traversed the challenging route which started from Mangaluru to Shimoga before culminating in Canacona, in South Goa. More than 650 km was navigated in two days, and the participants did challenge the monsoon with unlimited fun throughout the rally. Team Mangalorean who elaborately covered the flag off ceremony of this “Challenge”, also had the privilege to grace the prize distribution ceremony of the rally in Canacona, South Goa.
The end point for the “Monsoon Challenge” was at The Lalit Golf & Spa Resort Goa, an all suite resort nestled on 85 acres along the pristine Goan coastline. The resort, cradled by the majestic Sahyadari range along the confluence of the Talpone River, offers breathtaking view of the Arabian Sea. With a kilometre-long exclusive beachfront, it is truly one of the most exquisite beach resorts in Goa. Amidst grand Baroque-Portuguese style architecture, meticulously landscaped gardens, international standard Golf course and much more, it was indeed nice to enjoy the luxury of oceanfront privacy and seclusion in true Lalit style. Upon arrival, the resort welcomes you into the grand lobby with rustic chandeliers, antique long-handled ceiling fans and a grand staircase overlooking a hand-painted tile mosaic of Sao Rafael, the very first Portuguese ship to land in Goa under the helm of Vasco Da Gama. Apart from the prize distribution ceremony which ended with unlimited cocktails and sumptuous dinner, the Lalit resort was the perfect destination for relaxation and rejuvenation and I loved it!
These 25 vehicles who participated in this Challenge, had drivers/navigators hailing from Coimbatore, Bengaluru, Chikmagalur, Tamilnadu, Kerala, Mumbai, Mangaluru, DK and other places, among whom Ashwath Rasquinha and Maria Fernandes (Couple Category), Dr N Raaj Mohan and Chitra Venkateshwaralu (Couple) and Dr Sunil S Byadgi and Dr Shivakumar KP (Challenge Class Category) were from Mangaluru. This is the sixth edition of the CEAT presents “Mahendra Challenge 2016”, with the most rewarding prize money on offer, where these 25 vehicles manoeuvred the challenging route of over 650 km in 2 days.
Held under the Mahindra Adventure umbrella, it was part of the Challenges series of motor sport events that were launched five years ago. A unique concept, as the name suggests, TSD rallies are not only about speed but also about calculated precision of time and distance. The driver and the navigator are expected to keep a track of time in tandem with the distance covered. The Mahindra AdventureMonsoon Challenge 2016 route was chalked out by the Mahindra Adventure team in association with FMSCI (Federation of Motor Sports Club of India), while the ‘With You Hamesha’ service team ensured that participants enjoyed the rally unhindered.
The Mahindra Monsoon Challenge route comprised of highways, B roads and rough road stretches with the magnificent Western Ghats as the omnipresent backdrop. Under this challenge, participants who were competing under one of these categories, namely Challenge Category (professional), Amateur Category, Corporate Category, Ladies Category, Couple Category and Media Category, had a adventurous and fun time throughout journey. According to Ashwin Rai, the ace rallyist from Mangaluru and also the Clerk of Course of this event speaking to this reporter said, ” With a total prize money of Rs 4 lakh on offer, the Monsoon Challenge sports the tag of being one of India’s richest TSD motor sport events. The event has also been duly approved by the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) and is held especially for Mahindra vehicle owners. This rally has provided a perfect opportunity for Mahindra owners to compete while enjoying the monsoon vistas. During the journey, the participants celebrated ‘Incredible India’ as it passed through some of south India’s most exotic locales”.
Interaction with Ashwath and Maria Rasquinha (Mangaluru) – II place winners in ‘Couple Class’
The winners in the various classes are- Open Class : V Santhosh Kumar/T Nagarajan (I), Dinky Varghese/C Sakthivel (II), Pramod Vig/Prakasha M (III); Challenge Class : Wilson Padayattil/Sreejith PA (I), Maheshwaran N/Murugan N (II), Prabhu Kumar/Gopi J (III); Couple Class : Dr N Raaj Mohan/Chitra Venkatessalu (I), Ashwath Rasquinha/Maria (Rasquinha) Fernandes (II); Corporate Class : Vinaya Kumar BP/Ravi Kumar BM (I), Subhash Chandra/Shanmurgha N (II), Mohan N/Girish Prabhakaran (III); Media Class : Balamurugan K /T Vijay (I), Jobo Kuruvilla/N Rajkamal (II), Mohammed Jamesh/Binburaj (III). The prizes were handed over to the winners by Sunil Kumar- a executive from Mahindra Adventure, and Sunil DG, a executive from CEAT. The prize distribution was followed by a unlimited cocktail/dinner bash with lots of dancing, fun and frolic.
Speaking to Mangalorean.com, the second place winners in “Couple Class” driving the Mahindra Scorpio-Ashwath Rasquinha and his wife Maria from Mangaluru, who own ‘Simon and Co’ -Capitanio here said, ” This is my third time participating in Mahindra Monsoon Challenge, and I am glad that I won the second place this time. The credit should go to my wife who was a best navigator to win this prize. It was the National motor sport champions from Mangaluru namely Savera D’Souza and Satish Gopal Krishnan, who are now settled in New Jersey-USA, who inspired and motivated me to take up this sport- and I have loved it since then. Although winning is not the important factor, but participating matters. This rally like others is simple, just follow the TSD (Time, Speed, Distance) guidelines and you are on your smooth way to your end destination. This sport is interesting and fun, and anyone can participate. To experience you’ll have to do it at least once. Once you are on your way, and at the end of the day you are all excited that you have accomplished something great in motor sport. Try it, you’ll love it”.
Dr. Raghavendra Pidamale (Prof at AJ Hospital) and Dr Muralidhar Rai (Mangaluru)
Dr. Shiva Kumar and Dr Sunil Kumar (Davangere)
Yet another, doctor team who have entered this Challenge on Mahindra XUV 500 for the first time are all excited that they at least won the sixth place, which came as a surprise being first timers. Dr Raghavendra Pidamale, professor in Dentistry at AJ Hospital-Mangaluru and his navigator, Dr Muralidhar Rai, having his own clinic in Bantwal speaking to Mangalorean.com said, ” Winning in this even was not our aim, but taking part was was our intention. Since we both love driving we thought why not enter into this motor sport challenge, and it was the best decision that we made. We loved the whole journey, it was simply fun and adventurous. Although we won the sixth place, we are proud of ourselves that rally of such being our first attempt we made and completed it successfully” .
Team Mangalorean congratulates all the winners in the “Mahindra Monsoon Challenge 2016” and to those who participated and didn’t win, we say “Better Luck Next Time!” – After all, you all live young, You live free! You are the living! You are the living! Go Mahindra!