JK Tyre organised an off-road carnival, Xtreme 4Play, at Kikar lodge – an 1800-acre private forest reserve at the foothills of Shivalik Mountains in Chandigarh, in Punjab. Twenty-two teams participated in the event. These included four teams from Chandigarh led by RFC India winners Gurmeet Virdi and Kirpal Tung, six teams from Bangalore led by Siddharth Santosh and Lokesh Shivaraja (winners of the 2016 JK Orange 4×4 Fury in Dambuk), four teams from Kerala, two teams from Arunachal Pradesh and one team each from Delhi and Haryana.
The event was divided into two categories, ‘Xtreme 4Play’ – where professionals competed against each other for the JK Tyre off-road trophy and ‘4x4Play’ – an off-road arena where amateurs could drive their SUVs and dabble their hand at off-roading. Spread over three days the off-roaders were raring to get going.
The event kicked-off with a night stage. Competitors had to drive up a 60-degree slippery incline and down the other side. From a spectator’s perspective, it seemed quite easy. Competitors had to winch up to get over the crest and as the night progressed, things got even tougher. Five vehicles toppled (no one was hurt), but Siddharth with co-driver Lokesh got off to a good start and completed the task with a total score of 80 points.
The second day saw a similar incline, but the other side was laden with boulders. Competitors had to be very careful, excess speed would result in a broken steering column and that would be the end. A number of competitors used the winch to get up, while some were brave enough to power their way up and down the other sides. Local boys, Tejinder and Gurusahib bagged maximum points in the stage, which put the Gerrari boys at the top of the points table. Next the off-roaders had to tackle the pond. The idea was to cross a deep lake and get to the other side. The key technique for wading through water is constant acceleration and correct lines. The Gerrari boys once again took the lead and finished with the fastest time.
The battle was on. Team BODA were close behind the Gerrari boys who had already won three stages in the race for the Xtreme 4Play trophy. With two stages left, BODA really had to out manoeuvre the Gerrari boys to move ahead. Stage 4 was a little tricky as the surface was really rough and the trail up the hill was narrow. Trying to clock the fastest time once again, team Gerrari overshot a U-turn and went straight into a tree, damaging the engine. The team could not participate further and were out of the competition. This was the opportunity for the BODA team to capitalise on and they finished the stage with a total of 90 points, 30 points more than the Gerrari boys. The Gerrari team could not get their car up and running before the start of the last stage and were disqualified. This helped push the BODA team of Siddharth Santosh and Lokesh Shivaraja into the top spot, winning the 2017 JK Tyre Xtreme 4Play trophy with a total of 455 points with Gerrari coming in second, just five points short of 455. L