Rock n Rolla

As if Ko­hima’s beaten roads were not enough, the Off-Road Chal­lenge fea­tured moun­tain­ous ter­rain


JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT all the ac­tion was done with, af­ter the ninth edi­tion of the JK Tyre Horn­bill Mo­tor Rally came the ever-so-treach­er­ous Off-road Chal­lenge. The event, or­gan­ised by JK Tyre Mo­tor­sport and the Na­ga­land Ad­ven­ture and Mo­tor­sport As­so­ci­a­tion (NAMSA), was the first time an off-road event has been added to the Horn­bill Mo­tor Rally. The chal­lenge was held on De­cem­ber 5th, 2018, ex­actly a day af­ter the fa­mous TSD Rally. While the rally cars went about travers­ing the 55km route, teams were prep­ping their off-road spec 4x4s for the gru­elling event. Al­most all of which, were Maruti Suzuki Gyp­sys, built to take on the moun­tains of Ko­hima.

Each of the teams were al­lowed to have two cars each, with a driver and co-driver (who acts as a spot­ter too). The teams would have to work to­gether to get through ob­sta­cles that have been set con­sid­er­ing the high­est dif­fi­culty. With the help of his co-driver and spot­ter, Neike­toulie Meyase, Aviu Rutsa hus­tled his Maruti Suzuki Gypsy through ev­ery stage with ab­so­lute form. Big rocks were no prob­lem for the lo­cal duo. Also dis­play­ing im­mense skill were the duo of Rud­kuo­betvo and Pete.

The course was barely 1.5km long, but fea­tured six de­mand­ing chal­lenges and ob­sta­cles. Yanger Lus­hand along with co­driver Maken Lep­den tried their best to over­throw the lead­ing team, but put in just enough ef­fort to grab the first run­ner up po­si­tion along with team­mates Bento Swu and Bovito Kiho. Com­ing in as se­cond run­ners-up was the team of Ik­wei­thing (Justin) and Ken­rak Thou along with Iri­e­tui and Elu.

As im­por­tant as the nav­i­ga­tor is dur­ing a rally stage, an off-road chal­lenge can­not be dealt with, with­out a spot­ter. The best spot­ter sil­ver­ware was awarded to Abemo Yan­than while Aviu Rutsa was awarded for the best off-road build at the event. ⌧

Above: The Maruti Suzuki Gypsy seemed to be the weapon of choice for most off-road­ers in the North Eastern re­gion

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