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Kochi was home to the one of the largest gatherings of Mahindra Thars, the third edition of the Thar Fest and the fourth edition of Mahindra Adventure Club Challenge. The Thar Fest featured a collection of vintage Mahindra vehicles, all beautifully restored and customized. As for the Club Challenge, there were 11 off-roading clubs (teams) from the country battling it out on eight specially prepared obstacles courses which will test their partisanship.
Thar Fest is aimed at celebrating the camaraderie between the off-roading community and 4X4 enthusiasts, while celebrating the iconic ‘Thar’ brand. The event also featured the best restoration projects and neatly customized vehicles along with other activities like the Thar Parade, 4×4 Experience Zone and a Live Music performance. Team R&T Autocatalyst’s Sam Kurian received the awards for the best customized vehicle and the best restoration project on display.
Top off-roading clubs battled it out for the coveted title of ‘Best Off-Roading Club’ in India. However, they would have to compete on seven man made obstacles that involved teamwork rather than individual effort. As always, points were deducted for every cone that was crushed, bunting that was torn and flag unattended. The opening night stages were held from 6:30 PM till midnight. The three night stages, were a tag team/relay style course. The ‘Pass the Baton’ obstacle forced each team to use their ‘Stock’, ‘Mod’ and ‘Pro-Mod’ 4x4s together. The teams were allowed to use their other 4×4’s to winch each other up or out of the track but had limited time to do so.
The next day, March 10, 2019 witnessed the day stages between 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM. The signature obstacle of the day was the ‘Demolition Derby’, where the off-road vehicles had to negotiate a path over a pile of scrap vehicles. The teams were allowed use of all their three vehicles, tow straps, off-road ladders and other available props such as tyres to get to the desired flags and make it to the finish.
After an arduous battle, over two days and six obstacles, the overall winner trophy was presented to Kannur Riders and Off-Roaders Club (KROC). Bangalore Off-Road Driver’s Association (BODA) managed to finish second while Northern India Off-Road Club (NIOC) bagged the third place. Other than KROC, BODA and NIOC the other participating clubs this year included Team Ejamsa, Extreme Riders Motorsports Club of Meghalaya, Kerala Adventure Sports Club, R&T Autocatalyst, KTM Jeepers, Kannur Jeepers and Team Flywheel.
“The Mahindra Thar is an iconic brand, and holds a very special place in the hearts of auto enthusiasts and the off-roading community. It is an extension of the Mahindra legacy, and reflects the company’s tough & rugged, go-anywhere capabilities. With ‘Club Challenge and Thar Fest’, we are delighted to see the passion of off-roading enthusiasts. Like in previous years, this year too, the ‘Thar Fest’ saw scores of 4×4 enthusiasts come together to celebrate the tough & rugged DNA of Mahindra vehicles. Furthermore, in ‘Club Challenge’, diverse off-roading clubs fought for the title of “Best Off-Roading Club”, facing some of the toughest obstacles through challenging terrain.” said Veejay Nakra, Chief of Sales & Marketing, Auto Division, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.