Flag off from the Lake View Resort.
I have always nurtured an interest for off-roading, and when the invitation to participate in the Tata Motors Full Throttle came my way, there was no looking back. My tickets had arrived, my bags were packed and with my adrenaline rising with every passing minute, I was raring to go. I took an early morning flight out of Kolkata to Delhi and hopped on to a connecting flight from Delhi to arrive at Jodhpur where the Jodhpur Trail of the Tata Motors Full Throttle was to be staged the following morning.
For the uninitiated, Tata Motors Full Throttle Trail is an off-roading event organised for Tata Motors SUV owners with the objective of providing them with an opportunity to explore off-roading in their Tata SUVs. The Jodhpur Trail was the fifth out of the 21 trails which will be held this year and saw participation from Tata Motors SUV owners from in and around Jodhpur. The vehicles from the Tata Motors stable included the Tata Safari, Tata Xenon XT, Tata Sumo and Tata Aria, in both 4x4 and 4x2 configurations.
Driving downhill on the sandy slope.
I hopped into the Tata Indigo which was waiting for me at the airport and an 11 km drive took me to the Lake View Resort which was going to be my abode for the next 48 hours. Once at the resort, a sumptuous lunch which was followed by a quick afternoon siesta ensured my batteries were recharged. The floodgates of heaven had opened around 4pm and the weather had become really pleasant. Later in the evening we were entertained to Rajasthani folk song at the resort which was followed by a cocktail and dinner party where the members of the press and the participants got to let their hair down and enjoyed themselves.
The following morning started early with the registration desk being opened at 8:30 am. Once the registration was over, it was time for all the participants and members of the press to attend a briefing session on the trails in Jodhpur with a brief background of the other trails which had been previously held in Delhi, Ludhiana and Chandigarh. The briefing session was conducted by Jatin Lakra, Head Marketing (Sumo & Sumo Grande), Tata Motors. After that, the Cougar Motor Sports took the stage to guide the participants about the guidelines and safety norms in the trail. A hearty breakfast was served at the end of the session.
The off-road track prepared for the event was located near Keru Village on the outskirts of Jodhpur and consisted of sand banks, river beds and steep rocky descents posing some exciting challenges for participants who needed to complete the trail within a maximum stipulated time to qualify as finishers.
A total of 18 cars were flagged off around 10:30 am from the Lake View Resort which travelled a distance of around 30 km to reach the off-road track. The drive to the Keru Village was a mixed stretch with a share of highways and village routes thrown in. Although the route that later led to the challenges were through the sand banks and rocky terrains.
Driving on rocky terrain.
The Jodhpur Trails consisted of six challenges and each of the challenges was different from the others.
Challenge 1 - Sand Banks
In this challenge, each car had to go first drive uphill through a sandy and rocky terrain filled with thorny bushes and then drive down a similar steep sandy slope.
All the participants gave it their very best but in the end, only a few were able to successfully complete this challenge, while the rest of the cars got stuck in the sand and has to be pulled out with the help of a tractor.
Most of the participants couldn’t drive uphill and instead took the escape route from the side of the slope which was comparatively easier to climb down. This was an ultimate challenge for a two wheel drive SUV.
Challenge 2 - Slippery Roads
The participants had to drive through a very slippery stretch where even SUVs like the Sumo Gold and Safari were seen losing the road grip. This challenge was very exciting and fun as the cars kept of drifting all over.
Challenge - 3 - Rocky Mountains
Challenge number three required the participants to drive through a very narrow rocky uphill to reach the top and then drive down from there. The stretch was broken, narrow and serpentine and to be able steer an SUV through this terrain without damaging the car proved to be very challenging indeed. The turning radius and the performance of the car on a rough terrain couldn’t have been better tested.
Challenge - 4 - Steep Rocky Descents
The challenge was to first drive uphill a steep rocky terrain and the drive down through a steep rocky descent.
Driving on the rocky river bed.
Challenge -5 and 6 - River Crossing
Both the challenges were identical in nature with different level of difficulty. In challenge number five, the participants had to cross a river with a rocky bed and conservative water level, whereas in the sixth and final challenge, the SUVs had to be navigated through a much higher water level with lower rocky surface.
Receiving the participation certificate from Jatin Lakra, Head Marketing (Sumo & Sumo Grande), Tata Motors.
In the end, the Tata Motors Full Throttle – Jodhpur Trails proved to be an exciting and challenging event. Through this half-day off-roading event, the Tata SUV owners and enthusiasts got an opportunity to familiarise themselves with some serious off-road driving techniques, through a quick getaway in the proximity of their city.
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