24 Hours Speed Endurance Challenge: The team driving the XUV700
The stage for the 24 Hours Endurance Challenge was set – four Mahindra XUV700s, breaking a national record for the maximum distance covered in 24 hours of 3161 km, average speeds nearing 200kmph and a truly world-class proving ground. But in a record run of the scale, we also needed a team of reliable drivers behind the ’wheel.
On a road trip, the longest driving stint one might do is six or seven hours before needing a break. However, things are quite different when it comes to a 24 hour endurance run. One would have to adapt to the changing light conditions, soldier on through the weather and stay alert, because even a small error at nearly 200kmph could be fatal. To endure through these driving conditions, we needed skilled drivers to pilot the XUV700s, and we decided to call in reinforcements. Driving the Mahindra XUVs in the 24 Hours Endurance Challenge were friends of evo India – members of the motorsport fraternity and also like minded enthusiasts, along with members of Mahindra’s testing and validation team.
Part of this squadron were Sirish Chandran, Aatish Mishra, Aniruddha Rangnekar and Adil Jal Darukhanawala from evo India, along with national race and rally champions which included Vicky Chandhok, N. Leelakrishnan and Rayomand Banajee. Bringing up the rally driver’s squad were Garima Avtar and Rohan Pawar, along with Aravind KP, a factory Dakar rider for Sherco TVS Racing. Joel Joseph, founder of Race Concepts was also present, to ensure an efficient operation of the pitstop as well putting in a driving stint, along with Varun Anekar, one of Race Concept’s racers. Sports car enthusiast Shana Parmeshwar was also part of the driver lineup, completely at ease when it came to driving the XUV700 at full-throttle.
The driving was also shared by the team who designed and developed the XUV700 at the Mahindra SUV Proving Tack – including Husain Agha, Head, MSPT, Ganesh Adiga, Platform Engineering Head and Rajakumar K., Engineering Head for Vehicle Development and Validation. Other members from the Vehicle Development team included Samarth Shah, S. Vijayan, Sudharsan K and NandhaKumar K, along with Jai Ganesh S, Lalasure Santhosh, C. Karthick, Arun Chand P, K. Venkateshwaran, Shabbir Kamure and Rathakrishnan M. from the Validation team. Ryan Lee, former evo India journo and now manager at Mahindra Adventure was among the team that drove the XUV700s.