Gurmeet Virdi and co-driver Kirpal Singh Tung have won the 2016 Force Gurkha Rainforest Challenge India. At the end of the final Twilight stage, they had accumulated a total of 2177 points. Gurmeet and Kirpal are representing Gerrari off-roaders from Chandigarh. This is the first time that an Indian team has won the Rainforest Challenge India. The winning team of the India chapter gains an entry to the RFC Malaysia event which will be held later this year.
Merwyn Lim and co-driver Hamizan Bin Abdul Hamid secured second place overall with a total of 2166 points. 2014 and 2015 Rainforest Challenge India winner Tan Eng Joo and his co-driver Tan Choon finished third overall with a total of 2111 points.
Yesterday was Day 7th of the 2016 Rainforest Challenge and only 21 teams were found to be mechanically fit by the organisers to take part in the final Twilight leg. This year the Twilight leg was broken up into three stages. The first stage was held yesterday and required the teams to complete a 5.5 kilometre course around a forest.
As per the rules, all teams had 10 hours to complete the course after being flagged off. Also, teams were flagged off in groups of four and every team finishing the stage would get 100 points. During the drivers briefing, the organisers stated that in this stage it was compulsory for all teams to help each other and ensure that no one gets stuck or left behind. Teams were allowed to take help from other competing teams and even use their equipment. However, seeking help from support crews would attract penalties.
Today, on the eighth day, two Twilight special stages were held in which 16 teams participated. The two stages were held on a muddy grassland and ended up testing the drivers ability to manoeuvre their vehicle around a tightly marked course. One stage even tested the drivers reversing skills as they had to reverse their vehicles into three different stop points during the run.
Gurmeet and his co-driver Kirpal also won the up to 1610cc petrol or diesel class. The 1611 to 2610cc diesel category was won by Merwyn Lim and co-driver Hamizan Bin Abdul Hamid.
The 1611 to 2610cc petrol class was won by Bijender Singh and co-driver Gajendar Singh. The class above 2610cc was won by Dr Chaitanya Challa and co-driver Shabarish Jagarapu.
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