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Kabir Waraich and co-driver Dushyant Khosla from Chandigarh win RFC India 2021

After a hiatus of one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 7th edition of RFC India was held in Goa from 28th August to 4th September. 21 ...

After a hiatus of one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 7th edition of RFC India was held in Goa from 28th August to 4th September. 21 teams from across the country and Goa, each comprising a driver and a co-driver, made it for the event. 

Outright winners Kabir Waraich and co-driver Dushyant Khosla,

  • As the Champions, they get a free automatic entry to the RFC Global Series Finale
  • Three teams from Kerala make it to the top 5 in the coveted competition this year
  • 21 teams from across India participated in RFC India 2021

It is a story of blood, sweat, tears and bruised ego of all the brave hearts that took part into this event. Read on..!


Goa, September 4, 2021: After some week-long grueling off-roading
action in the interiors of Goa, Kabir Waraich
and co-driver Dushyant Khosla of Gerrari Offroaders Chandigarh have clinched
the coveted Overall Champions Trophy at the Rainforest Challenge (RFC) India
They have won the 7th season of India's toughest
international off-road motorsport competition with a total score of 2155 out of
2600. As the RFC India 2021 Champions, they have won a free entry to the RFC
Global Series Finale that is held in Malaysia

The overall second position was secured by Anand V Manjooran (co-driver
Vishnu Raj) of KTM Jeepers of Kerala with 2144 points. Dr Mohammad Fahed VP (co-driver
Rajeev Lal) of Team Gulf First from Kerala clinched the third spot on the
podium with 2014 points. Sam Kurian Kalarickal (co-driver Sacharia Saji) of R&T
Off-Road Club from Kerala was at the fourth spot in the competition with 1836 points,
while Cedrick Jordan DaSilva of Goa (co-driver Daljit Singh) secured a spot in
the top five with 1824 points.

Expressing his happiness on winning the
biggest and the toughest off-roading championship in India, Kabir Waraich said,
“This is
a dream come true for me but it is yet to sink in. I have participated in all
the editions of RFC India and while I managed to get a podium finish in the
first two editions, the Champion Trophy had always eluded me. In fact, this
year was also quite dramatic; the person who was originally supposed to be my
navigator broke his leg two days prior to the competition. So, I asked Dushyant
to be my co-driver and thankfully he immediately agreed. Our vehicle reached
Goa just one hour before the competition started and then we had a DNF (Did Not
Finish) in the very first SS. We were facing some issue or the other with the vehicle’s
tyres throughout the competition and lost some crucial points even in our first
SS on the last day. That’s when I decided that I will push myself to the limit
and not give up. So, we gave it our all and got full points in the last 4 SS of
the competition.”

The Rainforest Challenge (RFC) of Malaysia is an extreme off-road
motorsport competition that is ranked No. 3 in the Five Toughest Off-Road Races
in the World by Skoda Motorsport (2018). The India Edition of RFC was launched by
Delhi-based Cougar Motorsport Pvt. Ltd. in the year 2014. Today, RFC India is counted
amongst the top two RFC Global events out of the 51 editions held across 21
countries and it enjoys a cult following in the Indian and international
off-roading community. After a
hiatus of one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 7th edition of RFC
India was held in Goa from 28th August to 4th September.

Kabir and Dushyant on becoming the RFC India 2021 Champions, Cougar Motorsport’s
Founder Mr. Ashish Gupta said, "I am really happy for Kabir. It
was his lifetime dream to win RFC India and he has finally achieved that in his
seventh attempt. His last four SS in the competition were brilliant and showed how
determined he was to win."

About this
year’s competition, Mr Gupta said, “These are unprecedented times but
we managed to host the competition successfully in the true RFC India format of
26 SS and not just as a hybrid event. This was possible due to the full support
from the Government of Goa and the participants. The competition was intense wherein
we also discovered some new good drivers such as Dr
Fahed from Kerala.”

This year, the event was pushed back from the usual
peak monsoon July-end dates due to the pandemic and lockdown. Rains had receded
and everyone was looking at a relatively dry and hot RFC India. But the rain
gods were kind and there was no dearth of rain in the true RFC style despite it
being the end of August.

Despite the last-minute approvals, which meant a
relatively short time for the organizers to prepare for the event as well as
for the competitors to prepare their vehicles and come to Goa, 21 teams from
across the country and Goa,
comprising a driver and a co-driver,
made it for the event. Dr Mohammed Fahed participated
with a free entry to RFC India 2021 as the winner of KASC event in Kerala. Co-driver
Chethan Chengappa from Karnataka also competed this year in an attempt to get a
hat-trick win at the most difficult and coveted off-road motorsport
championship in the country.

The competitors had to undertake 26 Special Stages (SS) or challenges
that tested their driving and vehicle recovery skills, team spirit, along with
their physical and mental strength under extreme off-road conditions. The event followed a point system, wherein
the team with maximum points at the end of all the SS claimed the title of RFC

Special Stages on the first three days at Maina in
Goa took most of the competitors by surprise with the level of difficulty
and resulted in a lot of breakdowns of vehicles as well as winches but service
teams worked late into the night to keep their cars running.

Anand Manjooran grabbed the lead for the first two
days, which was taken by Dr Fahed, a debutant at RFC India who surprised
everyone with his driving skills. Kabir snatched the lead from Dr Fahed on Day
4 but lost it again to Anand on day 5. The final day saw one of the most
closely fought battles for the top spot in the history of RFC India, with just
6 points separating the first two. 

Kabir started on the final day with a flat tyre in
the first stage, losing a number of points but put up an incredible show to be
the fastest in all the subsequent 4 Special Stages scoring 100 points in each
to win with a margin of 11 points.

The other
key awards that were announced include:

Winner (Up to 1610 CC – Petrol or Diesel): Kabir
Waraich (co-driver Dushyant Singh)

Winner (1611 to 3010 CC Diesel): Dr
Mohammad Fahed VP (co-driver Rajeev Lal)

Winner (1611 to 3010 CC Petrol): Ibrahim
Firaz Shaikh (co-driver Imran Garag)

Winner (Above 3010 CC Petrol): Shemy
Musthafa (co-driver Muhammad Nabil)


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