Panaji: The inaugural edition of the Force Gurkha Rainforest Challenge (RFC) India was launched Friday at the International Centre Goa in Dona Paula, at the suburbs of Panaji.
A total of 25 teams are participating in the motorsport event with each team comprising of a driver and a co-driver, who will have to navigate through multiple off road obstacles and special stages from South to North Goa.
The first day of the event today saw competitors line up their vehicles for scrutiny by an expert panel, meant to check if all vehicles complied are in line with RFC International safety standards.
J A Wee, founder and creator of the Rainforest Challenge, said, "This is the maiden event in India and I am humbled to be in the midst of so many off-road enthusiasts. RFC going international was a milestone for us and now it coming to India is another one."
Members of various off-road clubs as well as touring adventurers from across the country have assembled in Goa to witness the event when India comes on the RFC Global series Map.
According to organisers, the Prologue special stages (SS), which starts tomorrow, will be held around the International Centre Goa.
After two days of tackling the 12 Prologue special stages, teams will venture into jungle camp-I, where they will have to fend for themselves while adhering to the stringent guidelines of the environment charter, instituted by the event organisers.
Any violation of the environment charter or harm to flora and fauna will incur penalties and can also lead to disqualification of the team by the environmental Steward.
The next stage, six predator special stages will test the competitors` driving and recovery skills in rugged terrain, while the unrelenting rain and slush will prove a hindrance as the teams make their way to jungle camp II.
With the rain constantly changing terrain, competitors will have to think quick as they manoeuvre the special stages in the `terminator stage`.
Participants of various age groups and backgrounds have come to take part in the historic edition of the sporting event. The event has garnered tremendous support from various off-roading communities across India, with Gerrari offroaders, Chandigarh and Bangalore Offroad Development Association sending four teams for the event.
The motorsport event also has a special category of touring adventurers who will get to travel on the RFC India toute and experience all the thrill and adventure but will not be competing in any of the special stages.
Around 35 touring adventurer teams have registered for the event this year.
Combined with the competitor teams, the tally of the 4x4 modified vehicles on display during the Force Gurkha RFC India 2014 is around 60.
On the occasion, Ashish Gupta, Founder and Director, Cougar Motorsport Pvt Ltd, the company responsible for introducing RFC here, said, "We are overwhelmed by the response we have received for the launch edition. Many off-road clubs have come forward to support us and participate in the event. It is an extreme motorsports and we have stuck to RFC international standards while designing this course."
The team with the least penalties and best overall time, will win the event and get an automatic entry in the RFC mother event, to be held in Malaysia in November.
The `Team Spirit Award` will be given to an individual competitor based on leadership and teamwork skills. The `Jungleman Award` will be handed over to the participant who shows exceptional driving and recovery skills.
The `Environment Award` will be given to a team or individual who preserves the environment. Touring adventurers will receive special awards too.
Managing Director, Force Motors, the title sponsor for the event, Prasan Firodia said that it was the ideal opportunity to see the country`s best off-roaders in action and interact with them.