The Mahindra Adventure Club Challenge is one of the most popular off-roading competitions in India and in its fifth edition Mahindra promised us new and tougher challenges along with a lot more fun. We had attended the previous edition last year where we came out thoroughly impressed, so let’s find out if the story is same this year, or is it better.
So, this is the 5th installment of the Club Challenge that was held in Bangalore . 15 teams from all over the country were invited to participate where they faced a handful of tough and raw obstacle courses that not only tests the vehicles’ but also the driver’s abilities. The competitions are segregated according to the type of vehicles that are classified into three categories – pro-mod, mod and pro-stock. From pro-stock to pro-mod each classification defines the amount of modifications allowed, with pro-mod that has been changed entirely from the ground up and pro-stock with the least changes.
This year’s competition consisted of 6 challenging obstacle courses that were conducted over the course of two days. The primary objective of all the challenges revolved around getting the flag that are placed in the trickiest of spots on the course in the least time possible.
On the first day, each team was faced with a total of three challenges - pass the baton, hand of god and single log challenge. While the second day was allotted for the big challenges like the 200m drag race, tug of war and demolition derby.
Points are awarded on several factors out of which the most crucial ones were time, track maintenance, and precision. But besides the rules and regulations, this is more than just a mere competition, this is a celebrated culture instead.
The reason I say this is because, every year the winning team gets to take home a trophy and a cash price of Rs 5 lakh, which, if you look at it, is just a tiny fraction of what they spend on building their vehicles. Some of the vehicles that take part in this competition have seen three generations of owners, having built from scratch more than just a couple of times. And this, as one can guess takes a whole lot of money. But the moment one season ends, these cars find their way back into the sheds where the work on them begins in anticipation for the next season. And let me tell you that there is no assurance if they will be invited at all.
To our amusement, we also found out that some of these cars were passed on from the participant’s grandfathers who maintained and ran these cars with the same passion that their grandchildren have in this time. The participants are not hesitant to spend when the chassis or the axles break. These cars are not just another arrow in the quiver to win the competition, but a part of the family.
But rounding back to the competition, after two days of rigorous and exhaustive obstacles this year’s winning prize went to Wayanad Jeepers. Trailing closely on the second position was Bangalore’s off-roaders club, while the third place went to R&T Off-road club. Each of these teams put forward a mind-blowing display of great vehicles, impeccable team-work and above all, god-like driving skills. But the points and the money earned is a rather small part of the story. As I said before, this is not a competition. This is a culture.