Apollo Tyres, India's leading tyre manufacturer, partnered with vehicle manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra for Monsoon Challenge 2011, one of the biggest and certainly the most rewarding, TSD (Time, Speed, Distance) rallies on the Indian off-roading scene.
Monsoon Challenge 2011 took participants through challenging and picturesque terrains to test their driving and navigation skills. The drive began on Friday, July 22, 2011, from the western Indian city of Nasik with 50+ participating teams. Over 3 days this rally covered 1500 kilometres, halting at Aurangabad and Kolhapur, and eventually culminated on the beaches of Goa on Sunday, July 24. The winning team of Somdev Chanda and Nirav Mehta, riding on a Mahindra Stinger, took home a cash prize of Rs 800,000 –- clearly the largest cash award ever given in any Indian off-roading adventure.
As the name suggests, the rally took place at the peak of the monsoon season in the western part of India, where it has been raining continuously for the past few days. The challenge therefore was in how each team best negotiated the variety of terrains they had to travel through. The roads selected were a mix of smooth highways in parts to complete off-roading, through dense and slushy forests and rainwashed rocky landscapes. The rally truly tested each driver’s ability to move across varying road conditions, often in pouring rains.
Apollo Tyres instituted two special award categories. The Apollo Safe Drive Award, under its ongoingApollo Safe Drive initiative was won by Umesh Rane from Mumbai driving a Mahindra Thar. Apollo also undertook complete tyre checks of each vehicle during the inspection stage and at the end of each day, to ensure no driver faced tyre-related problems. The tyres most suited for this rally were the Apollo Hawkz All Terrain and Hawkz Rough Terrain. Apollo Woman Driver Award was won by Ms Sampada Rangnekar from Mumbai, who participated with her son.
Monsoon Challenge 2011 is Apollo Tyres’ first partnership with leading vehicle manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra’s (M&M) Adventure division. Apollo is a strategic partner to M&M and supplies a range of tyres for Mahindra’s utility, farm and commercial vehicles. Apollo and M&M are also working together on future projects. In India, M&M is a clear leader in the utility vehicle segment.