Three TN teams set to participate in RFC India

By NT Bureau Published on Jul 19, 2018 03:48 PM IST

J Samraj (right)

Chennai, July 19: Three off-roading teams from Tamilnadu are preparing to prove their mettle in the fifth edition of RFC India, the toughest off-road motorsport competition of the country, which will be held in Goa from 21to 28 July 2018.

The participants from the three teams include RFC India debutants J. Sam Raj (co-driver Giftson Rajiv) representing Tamil Nadu Off-Roaders and Sibi Paul (co-driver Vinay Thomas) representing Arka Motor Sport, along with RFC India veteran Guhan Shetty (co-driver Umesh Rane) representing the Spartan Off-road Motorsport Club.

The Rainforest Challenge (RFC) was actually started in Malaysia and it is counted among the top ten toughest motor races in the world. The India Edition of RFC was launched in 2014 by Delhi-based Cougar Motorsport Pvt. Ltd.

It is an extreme off-road motorsport competition that tests the contestants’driving and vehicle recovery skills, team spirit, along with their physical and mental strength under extreme off-road conditions.

Today, RFC India is counted amongst the top three RFC Global events out of the 51 editions being held across 21 countries.

36-year-old businessman J. Sam Raj about his maiden stint at RFC India, said, "Getting a good rank in this competition is a long cherished dream. I have been preparing myself and my vehicle to face any eventualities. Lately, I have also been watching videos of the previous editions. However, I am unsure how the game would unfold at the time of the competition. So, the plan is to see the track and strategize accordingly," Sam will be driving a custom-mod Mahindra Major in the competition.

Sibi Paul (left)

Sibi Paul, a 41-year old farmer, who will make his debut will drive his Mahindra Thar along with co-driver Vinay Thomas.

He said, "Ever since RFC was launched in India, I have wanted to participate in it. This time, I have prepared my vehicle, I’ve prepared myself and I can’t wait to hit the tracks in Goa."

"The Indian edition of RFC is so tough, with its unforgiving terrains and strict adherence to rules and regulations. But we are here to win and will leave no stone unturned to make that happen," he said.

47-year-old Guhan Shetty will be participating in RFC India for the fifth time in a row, driving his Mahindra MM550. The veteran said, "By now we have a substantial ‘know-how’ of the event. We are making no new modifications to our vehicle."

About his RFC journey, he said, "The competitors have improved considerably over the years. In fact, I have seen visible improvement in my own off-roading skills. Last year, the competition was no less than any major international off-roading event. For me, it is the best off-roading competition in our country. No other off-roading competition in India can match the expertise and experience I have gained here." he said.

Guhan Shetty (left)

RFC 2018 has 41 teams, each comprising a driver and a co-driver, from various parts of the country, where they will undertake 26 Special Stages (SS) or challenges.

The event follows a point system, wherein the team with maximum points at the end of all the SS claims the title of RFC India. The total benefits to the top Indian driver of RFC India 2018 will amount to USD 10,000, including an automatic free entry worth USD 3,900 to the RFC Mother Event, to be held in Malaysia at the end of the year.

With the mix of debutants and experience, Tamil Nadu surely looks all set to give a tough fight at the competition.