2017 Mahindra Club Challenge
This off-road event is tough where both the Thar and its drivers are in for a beating
What comes to your mind when you hear the word Adventure? Well, for the 12 teams that participated in the 2017 Club Challenge, it surely does mean Mahindra Adventure. Mahindra Adventure is the marketing unit of the carmaker which hosts off-roading adventure sports and road trips. I, honestly never knew something like this even existed.
One fine afternoon, I get a Whatsapp message from our dear Senior Road Tester, Parth, asking could I go to the 2017 Mahindra Club Challenge and Thar Fest on the 14th and 15th October. Without even blinking my eye, I said yes.
After it was confirmed that I would be representing my team at the event, I started researching on the event and got to know about the brotherhood feeling that Mahindra sells. Personally, I feel, it’s something great to organise for events and rides like the ones Mahindra does. You get to meet a lot of people, you get to explore places and hang around with people you’ve never known. I was super impressed with something called the Monastery Escape (and wish to experience it once at least in my lifetime).
All things aside, coming to the 2017 Club Challenge, it is an event where the best off-roading clubs across India fight it out for the coveted title. This time, the event was held in Kochi, Kerala on the 14th and 15th October 2017, and I was given an opportunity to witness the madness.
The Club Challenge consists of 2 parts – Night Stages and Day Stages. There are obstacles and hurdles placed in the path, the participants will have to cross them and collect the flags placed along the path to gain points. There were penalties also if the rules weren’t abided by.
The level of enthusiasm at a Mahindra off-road event is just enormous
The event was flagged off late in the evening at around 07:00 PM, before which the participants and the media were given a small briefing about the event, rules and regulations. Easily this was the toughest of all the seasons because none of the participants could cross the very first hurdle or obstacle successfully. Every Thar got stuck in the slushy mud. The Night Stages were done by 11:30 PM in the night, and we headed to the hotel for a good night’s rest.
Come morning and the Day Stages flagged off. The Day Stages seemed pretty easy compared to the Night (at least for me). The Thars had to go on a pile of wooden logs and other challenging obstacles and terrains. The Demolition Derby event is what that caught entire Kochi’s attention. People started flocking the event area to witness this dangerous activity. Demolition event is basically a Thar climbing on a pile of scrapped cars and going past them. While this was going on, simultaneously, the Thar Fest had also started.
The Thar Fest showcases a wide range of after-market accessories available for the Thar that are for sale. For the entertainment of other visitors, Mahindra had also organised an Archery, Rock-Climbing competition and the Music Night. A famous Rock-Band performance at the event, entertaining the Club Challenge contestants and others. Team AHOR/EJAMSA won the 2017 Club Challenge receiving Rs. 3 lakhs as the prize money while Team KASC emerged the first runner-up receiving Rs. 2 lakhs as the prize money. Overall, the event was a good experience for off-roading enthusiasts and Thar owners.