Gurmeet and Kirpal become the first Indians to win Rainforest Challenge 2016

Gurmeet and Kirpal become the first Indians to win Rainforest Challenge 2016
author image Omkar Thakur
Friday 29 July 2016, 15:02 PM

Gerrari Offroaders from Chandigarh brought the Rainforest Challenge 2016 trophy home after Gurmeet Virdi and Kirpal Singh Tung drove their purpose-built 1.6-litre Gypsy across 27 stages of unimaginable obstacles. Being the first Indian driver to win the RFC, Gurmeet was followed closely by Merwyn Lin and Hamizan bin Abdul Hamid and Tan Eng Joo and Tan Choon Hong. Both the Malysian teams were driving Force Gurkha and helped the Indian car maker win the Team Award.

The Force Motors duo of Tan/Tan and Merwyn/Hamizan started strong on Day 1 finishing first and second at the end of the first six stages of Prologue. Gurmeet from Gerrari and Cedric/Floyd from Goa were close behind the leaders. Day 2 saw Gurmeet/Kirpal taking the lead from Tan with Merwyn also being able to push ahead of Tan. Tan improved his performance on Day 3 overtaking Merwyn for the second position while Gurmeet managed to hold on to a slender lead of 12 points. Kabir/Gagan, who moved from Gerrari to Force this year, performed well on Day 3 to jump three places to reach fourth overall. Day 4, the Terminator, turned out to be a very good day for Merwyn which saw him lead the pack by 40 points followed by Gurmeet and Tan.

RainForest Challenge 2016

Whoever finished the Twilight got a 100 points straight away and qualified for SS25 and SS26 on Day 7. Those who could not manage to cross the line at Twilight had to end their campaign deep in the Jungles of South Goa. 13 out of 30 participants managed to conquer Twilight and qualified for SS25 and SS26. Gurmeet finished just 11 points clear of Merwyn to win the RFC while Tan was 55 points behind Merwyn for third.

It was heartening to see the sportsmanship of competitors, guiding and helping the exact ones they were fighting with to get across the challenges. Especially in the second to last Twilight stage, where the competitors had to traverse an eight kilometres long trail through the thick rainforests in South Goa, especially Abhinav and Laxmikanth from Team Corac Hyderabad and Dr. Chaitanya Challa and Shabarish also from Hyderabad.

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