SUVs, jeeps and Gypsys will be put through their paces to mark the eighth anniversary of Jeep Thrills

Today, Jeep Thrills celebrates its eight anniversary. Originating in Chennai, this community of jeepers has now added new addresses to its directory with chapters in Gokak, Gulbarga, Tirunelveli and Ooty.

“Around 15 chapters function around the country. Some are known by different names, but are related to the parent group, which has the key to core technical expertise,” says Arkaprava Datta, a main player in this eight-year-old initiative.

The guiding influence of the parent group — Jeep Thrills Chennai — is nowhere as evident as in the growth of the chapters in Bangalore and Delhi. With jeepers thoroughly clued into the sport, these two metros have two mega events of their own. The annual monsoon off-roading event by the Delhi chapter, known as North India Offroad Club, is a big draw in the region.

Just as popular is the Republic Day annual organised by the Bangalore group. However, The Palar Challenge, organised by the parent body on Independence Day, soars above both and any other off-roading event in the country. “It has held on to the title as the hardest off-roading exercise in the country,” says Arkaprava.

The Palar Challenge goes straight to the heart of Jeep Thrills, which is governed by a desire for serious 4x4 off roading. But on the peripheries of this heart, lie a willingness to accept the lesser forms of the sport.

Therefore, the parent group steps down from its high stand, from time to time, to accommodate the juniors, such as owners of AWD, 4WD and 2WD machines.

This flexibility has, in recent years, ensured a bigger bandwidth for the group. And a fuller calendar as well.

And, during the March 2-3 anniversary fete at Adventure Zone in Madurantakam, all these machines will be put through their paces.

Following two technical sessions, expected to cover the waterfront of off-roading, owners of 2WD and 4WD SUVs will be introduced to the real thing through a drive and manoeuvres orchestrated in a tough terrain, away from the campsite.

The big day (March 3), however, belongs to the advanced students of the craft: owners of 4x4 SUVs, Jeeps and Gypsys.