Come August 2014, the international off-road motorsport event, Rainforest Challenge (RFC) will be held in India for the first time, courtesy of Pune-based Force Motors who have agreed to be its title sponsor. The first edition of the ‘Force Gurkha RFC India 2014’ has been scheduled to take place from 8th to 14th August 2014 in Goa.
Like the Malaysian RFC, the Indian counterpart will have 30 special stages or challenges, which the participants will have to overcome in a span of six days. Some of the challenges include navigating a stream, climbing or descending a hill, trawling through slush, negotiating boulders and rocks, and so on.
Organised by Delhi-based Cougar Motorsport, RFC is among the 10 toughest motorsport off-road events in the world. Started in Malaysia in 1997, the event has spread to six countries: Sri Lanka, Vietnam, China, West Russia, Australia and Italy with India being the newest member.
Ashish Gupta, founder and director, Cougar Motorsport, says RFC is a hardcore four-wheel off- road event in which the participants will have to battle natural elements during monsoons. "You are driving across terrain which is not motorable otherwise. Contrary to what people think, Goa is not just about beaches. It has vast hinterlands, forests and quarries," says Gupta, a former banker and a rally driver.
Starting from Panjim, the drivers will move down south from where they will head north before returning to Panjim. Till now, 25 teams with two members each, have registered for the event. A majority are youngsters between 20 and 30 age group and own modified jeeps. The participation will be limited to 40 vehicles only.