Team Gerrari Offroaders wins Rainforest Challenge India 2021
Team Gerrari Offroaders Chandigarh has clinched the seventh season of the Rainforest Challenge (RFC) India 2021 with a total score of 2155 out of a possible 2600. The team, consisting of lead driver Kabir Wairach and co-driver Dushyant Khosla, battled it out against a total of 21 competitors and came out on top. Anand V Manjooran and Vishnu Raj of KTM Jeepers of Kerala, who came second with 2144 points.
Team Gulf First from Kerala, consisting of Dr Mohammed Fahed VP and co-driver Rajeev Lal claimed the third spot with 2014 points.
For the uninformed, the Rainforest Challenge was founded by Luis J.A Wee and came into existence in 1997. It is an extreme off-road motorsport competition held in many countries that involves traversing through some of the toughest conditions in a span of seven days. The Indian edition of the RFC was launched by Cougar Motorsport in 2014 and has been held every year since then, save for a year-long hiatus in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year, the RFC India 2021 was held in Goa from August 28 to September 4.
The competition followed a ‘Special Stages’ format consisting of 26 challenges which the teams had to go through in order to win. The winner was decided by a point system in which the team scoring the maximum points would win the RFC India 2021 title, and further advance to the global finale stage of the Rainforest Challenge which will be held in Malaysia.
Kabir Waraich, lead driver, Gerrari Offroaders Chandigarh, commented on the victory, “This is a dream come true for me but it is yet to sink in. I have participated in all the editions of RFC India and while I managed to get a podium finish in the first two editions, the Champion Trophy had always eluded me. In fact, this year was also quite dramatic; the person who was originally supposed to be my navigator broke his leg two days prior to the competition. So, I asked Dushyant to be my co-driver and thankfully he immediately agreed. Our vehicle reached Goa just one hour before the competition started and then we had a DNF (Did Not Finish) in the very first SS. We were facing some issue or the other with the vehicle’s tyres throughout the competition and lost some crucial points even in our first SS on the last day. That’s when I decided that I will push myself to the limit and not give up. So, we gave it our all and got full points in the last 4 SS of the competition.”
Beginning his racing career in 2008, Kabir Waraich participated in the inaugural edition of the Rainforest Challenge India held in 2014 in which he secured third position. This resulted in Waraich becoming the first Indian to participate in the global finale of the Rainforest Challenge held in Malaysia. He again secured the third position in the 2015 Rainforest Challenge. Nearly six years later he has come out on top, and gets yet another shot at winning the global finale of the Rainforest Challenge which will be held later this year.