By Tajinder Bains
Ropar (Punjab), Feb 18 (IANS) As many as 12 teams of off-roaders from across the country have rallied near here to test not only their driving skills on the rough terrain but also the endurance of their vehicles modified for the purpose at the inaugural ‘JK Tyre Xtreme 4-Play’.
The three-day extreme sporting event got underway at Kikar Lodge, an 1,800-acre private property endowed with nature-made terrain apt for the purpose — comprising dry river beds and hillocks — to test the mettle of the extreme sport drivers.
The lodge is about 30 km from Ropar town in Punjab and about 80 km from the state capital Chandigarh.
Each of the teams, which has travelled from as far as Kerala and Arunachal Pradesh, comprises two drivers of off-roading vehicles. They seemed enthused to test their guts and gumption on the rough terrain to come up trumps.
After the flag-off on Friday evening, Stage I of the competition was held, wherein the off-roaders had to climb a steep climb made in the shape of an inverted horse-shoe.
In the competition that followed for the next couple of hours, sports enthusiasts and spectators were treated to a dash of extreme driving skills and nerves of steel required for the sport.
There were quite a few gasps as well, as a few competitors took the tumble along with their vehicles. Fortunately, there were no serious issues involved.
Kikar Lodge has been a venue for quite a few other motor sports-related events and boasts of great ambience and facilities.
The tyre manufacturer is also slated to organise the 5th edition of ‘JK Tyre Himalayan Drive’ from February 25 to March 2, starting from Siliguri in West Bengal.
The teams participating in the off-roading competition have come from Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka, Punjab, Goa, Arunachal Pradesh, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra.
At the end of the Stage I, which was more of a warm-up for the contestants, Siddartha Santosh and Prithviraj A.C. from Karnataka, comprising Team B.O.D.A. were leading the event, followed by Sam Kurian and Guhan Shetty and Anand Manjooran and Ashwin Narayanan of KTM Jeepers team from Kerala/Tamil Nadu.
Bijender Singh and Gajender Singh from N.I.O.C team from Delhi were in third position.
(Tajinder Bains is in Ropar at the invitation of JK Tyre. He can be contacted at [email protected])