The zeal of off-roading in God’s own country goes up a notch higher with each Great Escape. Vagamon in all its beauty was the perfect host with its green meadows, cloudy weather and a misty table top, at 3,000 feet above sea level, from where the event was flagged off.
Two different tracks were mapped for the 2WD - 4WD and the 4WD Trophy participants. The 2WD along with the 4WD participants were taken on to a 22 km scenic drive which led to narrow slush patches and mini stream crossings. At a point on this route, the 4WD participants took a diversion to spill some mud, drive through slush pits and try their off-roading skills at climbing rocks.
The mood was upswing, perfect for 4x4 enthusiasts to roll their machines over trails that would get them rattling their brains. With spirits running high the first obstacle was laid out – participants had to drive down a rocky hill for nearly 80 meters, turn around and climb the same hill which was at a 35 degree incline angle. The trick was to find a path that would give the vehicle traction and a proper hold. Most participants struggled and had to be winched out. It was the seasoned off-roaders who made it through.
The second obstacle was pretty simple, at least in theory. Off-roaders had to cross a slush pit and drive through a wet grass patch. The silt land made it difficult for 4x4s to find a grip. By the time the first two obstacles were done, it began raining making the obstacles that followed extremely tough.
The game changer was the third obstacle in which participants had to drive in reverse through a slush pit and cross a stream. After crossing the stream, off-roaders had to drive through a 30 degree slanted track in reverse and return to the start point.
By the time the third obstacle was done, nature was at its playful best. The downpour has made it extremely tedious for 4x4s to pass through challenges. Nonetheless off-roaders mustered the courage to attempt the fourth and fifth obstacles.
Under the fourth hurdle, participants had to climb a hill through a slush pit. As it was raining, the water level in the pit made it difficult for vehicles to go through the track. The last obstacle was set to test articulation skills of the participants. They had to drive through a rocky stream and then exit downhill through another stream.
At the Vagamon Great Escape it was proven that even the best 4x4s and the most skilled off-roaders cannot defy mother nature. Participants were judged on their performance in the first three obstacles. The Great Escape winners from Vagamon will join winners from other regions in a face-off at Igatpuri that will result in one off-roader taking home a brand new Thar.
Winner: Arjun PP
Runner-up: Mubashir. TP
Winner: Suraj Thomas
Winner: Smitha Prasad