The battle for supremacy in the 2017 Rainforest Challenge India continued in Goa, with Day 5 of the event proving to be very challenging indeed. At the head of the order, the leader board continues to be occupied by Gerrari Off-roaders duo Gurmeet Virdi and Kirpal Singh Tung. The pair from Chandigarh have managed to rack up a total of 1829 points out of 2400.
Gurmeet Virdi and Kirpal Tung continue to lead the RFC 2017
Currently running second after five days of the event are Team V5 duo - Jagat Nanjappa and Chetan Chengappa. The driver-navigator pair from Coorg were able to move up the order and currently have a total of 1765 points.
Third place is currently occupied by Team BODA (Bangalore Off-road Drivers Association), with driver Siddartha Santosh and navigator Prithviraj AC having slipped down the order, with a total points haul of 1534.
Day 5 saw the teams tackle six Terminator Special Stages - SS19 to SS24 at Maina, Quepem. The stages were tough, and placed emphasis on technical skills, testing competitors on winching, driving abilities, etc. Intermittent rainfall meant that the stages were completely mucky, adding to the challenge. This was one of the reasons for the change in the standings in the leader-board, with Team BODA's Siddartha suffering a DNF on SS23, and also smashing his rear-axle on the same stage, leading to complications.
Siddartha said, "Today has not been good for us. In an unfortunate relay of events, I broke the rear axle of my machine due to which it was reduced to a three-wheel drive instead of a four wheel one. This had a harsh impact on our succeeding performances and we failed to deliver our best. My opening stage was decent, second one was satisfactorily good and in SS 22 we were not as fast as rest of the pack. Overall, it has been a really hard day for us. With only a few stages left and my car limping with breakdowns, it's a rough ride ahead. Hopefully we can get our vehicle to work fine and fare well in the competition."
Meanwhile, accomplished Indian rally driver Jagat Nanjappa, who had managed to make it to second in the standings likened the challenge at this point in the event to a game of Snakes And Ladders, saying that now all that was to be done was to keep climbing the ladders. Easier said than done, at the RFC 2017!
The RFC India 2017 convoy will now head towards Rajiv Gandhi IT Habitat in Dona Paula for the final two Special Stages, before the announcement of the Force Gurkha RFC India 2017 Overall Champion on 30th July.