Dry Wash Jeep Thrills Challenge test of endurance
It was adrenaline rush unlimited as jeeps rocked their way through a demanding, arduous track near Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here Sunday.
Exaggerated pits tested the vehicles' limits while dangerous curves put to check drivers' endurance and their dexterity with the wheels.
It was meant to be an avenue for 4x4 owners to test their jeeps and SUVs on a real track, something the machines are tailored for, but don't get to experience often, and Dry Wash Jeep Thrills Challenge sure didn't let them down.
The obstacles ranged from climbing over a rock strewn track, pits elevated at 55 degrees to slush bogs, a steep climb over a rocky hillock and a 300-metre drive along a pond bed.
So curved was one bend that the underbellies of the partaking jeeps and SUVs stood exposed! The challenges increased as one went further down the track.
“Even today, the old jeeps are as capable of doing this track as any of the new SUVs,” observed Shafath Ali Khan, president, Jeep Thrills Hyderabad.
About 100 vehicles from Pajeros, Montereos, Landcruisers and a Porsche Cayenne to the aged Maruti Gypsys, Judo Trax, CJ (Civilian Jeep) 5, CJ6, M38 low bonnet Willys and Fords challenged themselves on the 1.6-kilometre track.
The American M(Military) 38s, for example were used by the Pakistan Army during the Indo-Pak 1972 war and left behind by its fleeing soldiers. “The Indian Army seized and later auctioned them,” said Mr. Khan. Organisers claimed it to be one of the most difficult off-road tracks in the country. “Our pits are even tougher than the Army specifications,” asserted Mr. Khan.
The track had 37 obstacles, four of which were water bodies, according to Abhinav Reddy, another organiser. It took the team six days and four JCBs to prepare the track. “This is not an easy terrain to drive,” observed Shaheen Khan, who has been taking part in such drives for five years now. For Mr. Reddy, it was the water body that was the toughest obstacle of all. So was it while coming down the hill.
“You must be focussed when negotiating the obstacles. You also have to know when to accelerate and when to apply the brakes.”