Saturday, September 26, 2009

Western Motorsports n ME

"Motor Sport" , a word that had never came in my mind even in my wildest dreams till I met Anukraman Sir , who used to tell me about Desert Storm, Raid-de-Himalaya and other motor sport events and I used to think that people involved in it must be really crazy to do all these kind of things.

But, this motorsport bug bit me also in September 2008, when I did “Indian Motor Car Rally” with his team and enjoyed every moment of it. I didn’t even know the ABCD of this thing but Sir told me only one thing about being an official in any motor sport event and i.e. “Bahot lagti hai officials ki” and this line of his came out to be true in all the events of which I have been part of, whether it was Indian Motor Car Rally (my first rally as official) or be it Desert Storm 2009 in which I went as his co-driver or would rather say “passenger”, The Monsoon Ride’09 & Polaris ATV Challenge’09.

Team Indian Motor Car Rally

The thought of forming a motor sport club came in our minds when Me, Anirban Sir and Anukraman Sir while we were coming back after finishing with Desert Storm 2009 and were having tea on a roadside dhaba and everything clicked perfectly and thus Western Motorsports came into existence after 2 months.

I still remember that telephonic conversation with Anukraman Sir when he thought of doing our very first event “The Monsoon Ride”. Few lines of the conversation which I remember are

Sir: I am thinking of doing a TSD event.

Me: Great. When are you planning to do that?

Sir: Next Month. Dates are 4th and 5th July and the event will be called “The Monsoon Ride”.

Me: What !!!!!!!!

Sir: What whoot ka time nahin hai, kaam shuru karo ... Entry form design karna hai , shuru ho jao.

And that’s how, it all began , everything came out of nowhere, sitting on laptop throughout the day, searching for different documents, rules and regulations of a TSD rally, making documents (Supplementary Regulations, DCOC manual, Time Cards, Control Sheets, Logo for the event, Logo for the club etc.).Discussing everything on phones, chats, mails working day and night till 4-5 or sometimes even 6 in the morning.(Gosh, I never studied this much for an exam also).

Then I went for the Recce, from Jaipur to Bhangarh, one of the most beautiful tracks I had seen. One thing which I have noticed about Anukraman Sir is his tremendous skill of finding tracks for any motor sport events in which he is involved, be it for the Indian Motor Car Rally, Desert Storm 2009 (The very first night section , yes I was the lucky one to accompany him in that recce also),The Monsoon Ride and Polaris ATV Challenge, each and every track found by him were appreciated by all the officials & participants.

We had only 25 days to go for The Monsoon Ride in which the core team of Western Motorsports(Anukraman Sir, Raj Singh Sir, Aazaad Sir, Anirban Sir, Shalini Ma’m) all of us worked like maniacs for sponsorships, road books ,logistics, planning and execution of the event.

Finally D Day arrived for our very first event “JK Tyre-The Monsoon Ride”.(Yes, finally we bagged in some sponsors JK Tyres, Big TV, Club Mahindra, Trendy Webs, Dhruvan and some more) and everything started as we planned & everything planned for the first day went on smoothly. We received 50+ entries in one month which was a great achievement for all of us being new and no big names from motor sport world.

The next day was very crucial for all of us as everything has to be perfect no matter what comes in our way. None of us slept for last two nights because of the last minute work load we all had, but I salute the spirit of every official of JK Tyre - The Monsoon Ride that everyone reported on time and worked like anything to make the event a success. Everything went on smoothly on the second day also, we did have some critical comments from the participants but we’ll make sure that those things should not be repeated in future. Critics are the part of the game and if healthy one’s which we fortunately had are good for development of an organization.

I would also like to mention Team Northern Motorsport for standing beside us and were there for us for every single moment when we felt we were lagging somewhere. Thank you JD sir, Sudev Sir, Philip Sir, Bharat Sir, Deepak Sir, Rahul Sir, thank you TEAM NORTHERN MOTORSPORT.

While we were gearing up for The Monsoon Ride, came another good news about our next event which was India’s first ATV event “Polaris ATV Challenge”. Right after finishing with The Monsoon Ride, we started working for the ATV event which was announced in the Prize Distribution Ceremony of JK Tyre-The Monsoon Ride.

Polaris ATV Challenge was a 3 day event and god was kind enough to shower his blessings in form of rains throughout the event. A total off-road event with heavy rains throughout the day was a real treat for everyone in those hot humid summers. I would love to mention “Chhotu” (Shalini Mam’s Bolero) who was our companion throughout the event. We had a great time with everyone present right from officials and participants (especially Mrs.Deepa Malik, hats off to her spirit).

All n All it feels great to be a part of something like this, I had always wanted to do something adventurous and would like to thank Anukraman Sir for giving me a chance to experience something like this and accepting me as a part of his team .


Yatin Gupta

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Polaris ATV Challenge 09

Hello Friends,

We are just over with yet another event, Polaris ATV Challenge 09, which was India’s frist ATV Rally. Doing back to back events is not easy but TEAM WESTERN MOTORSPORTS pulled it off beautifully. During “JK Tyre - The Monsoon Ride” itself I had suffered a leg injury, an internal one but that was not going to stop us as a word was given to conduct Polaris ATV Challenge 09. With all the hiccups taken in stride the event was a good success.

As nothing new we also did have differences with the presenter of the event Trans Asia, but if these are not there what is the fun what is the challenge. I do agree we lacked on our part on more than one front but that was due to getting pissed off due to the behavioral discrepancies from Trans Asia, I put my hand up and accept the fault atleast on our part as it was not at all professionalism, but humane.

The event was basically executed in a week’s preparation as we did not have to work on the entries only the execution which was taken as only the rally execution and not as the wholesome rally including the peripheral. It was a great learning experience and has improved us on our logistical arrangements, now the team has the confidence of pulling off an event anywhere with whatever magnitude, but we are not going to fly on the confidence, we would like to progress gradually.

It was a drastic change in climate and from no rains for a fortnight god had mercy at last and it rained almost all through the event, words of Mr. Rusy Kohli came true, weathermen watch out for your careers. The rains were too heavy for day 3, the Leg 2 SS 1 had to be cancelled as going through a particular section of this could have caused injuries as it had become water logged and too slushy.
The event was completed without any protest or mishap. The only mishap which occurred was a breakdown in an ATV of competitor Raj Singh just before the start of Leg 2 SS 1, till then he was leading the rally with a great 3 minutes lead. Rusy kohli and Ashish Bahl emerged winners of their respective categories and Rusy won the overall trophy also. At the time of Prize Distribution Ceremony it was drizzling all the time, the ceremony was conducted in the rain all loved it and enjoyed it.

The effort of all the officials and marshals was highly commendable as they withstood the rain, they rode on their bikes all the way from Jaipur to the stages in heavy rains to do the duties, I salute their passion to the sport. Will not like to point out any single official’s effort but effort of Shalini Singh has to appreciated, she got late in starting off from Delhi but did not take it as an excuse but drove all alone with her CHOTU (bolero) all the way from Delhi reached Jaipur at 2 in midnight and was on her toes by 4 and on stage to take up her duties. HAT’S OFF!! Shalini Hat’s off to you.

Polaris ATV Challenge too just like JK Tyre – The Monsson Ride was very well supported by people from different motor sport groups, that is the sporting spirit which I wish would wish to continue and prevail. Sidharth Singh of Jaipur Motor Cycle Club was the COC, Adhiraj Singh of Rajputana Jeep Club did the starts of day 1, Vikas Singh of Team Jeypore was there for the day 2 starts and Anil Gautam from SAAHAS with his entire team came and did the flag-off.

There was another lady in the event just for her sheer passion and commitment to the sport, DEEPA MALLIK a lady paralyzed waist below came all the way from Ahmednagar, just to take the flag off and ride a few kilometers into the stage. Seeing her courage and passion we deployed a jeep to back her up in the stage with her support system. Hat’s off to you too Deepa.

The Polaris ATV Challenge is over now and we are planning an event in winters. The event would be a tough one for participants as well officials but am pretty sure it will also be through as knife through melted butter. It would also be on TSD format and we are looking into putting in separate categories off-road and tarmac both for 4 wheelers 2 wheelers and there would be another element which I would not like to disclose as yet, but can assure you it would be a spine chilling experience. The event is still in planning stages but can assure you of a new experience and would be trying to eliminate all the flaws which were there in the earlier events

So hope to see you in winters, keeping fingers crossed.

Anukraman Singh,

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Living My Dream !!!

By : Deepa Malik participant Polaris ATV Challenge

Always wanting to be on wheels and being the active part of the motor sport world is what i forever dreamt of. I often laugh and quote that god mistook my wish and put me on a wheel-chair for good. Relegation to an indoor like was something i was not going to settle for,and thus began my search for opportunities where i could turn the wheel of fate and redesign it to include adventure and fun activities in the lives of wheel-chair bounds.

And one such opportunity came my way when i learnt about the India's first ATV rally organised by Western Motorsports with Trans-Asia Distributions.

I saw some potential of being able to participate as i did a record making drive on my ATV on tarmac road. So I could ride an ATV but a formal rally and that too off-road was a different thought and a scary one for a woman paralysed waist below.

I am glad that Rusy gave me the permission to participate on a condition of filling up formalities of paper work.But I'm also glad that the officials at Western Motorsports welcomed my unending queries with so much ease. I know I was very difficult with my bag full of questions about the route, my backup vehicle and even a place for my husband in it and the list goes on. My heart felt thanks to Anukraman and his team for being so patient with me. They not only made things look easier for me but also encouraged me. If it was not for the comfort zone and acceptance created by them, I dont think I would have mustered up the courage to request
Ashish Bahl of Adventure Wheels lending me one of his ATVs. A request to which he immediately responded with a positive and with it came with his participation as well.

As I landed at the scrutiny point, I could hardly contain the excitement but yes the reception was a little confusing as there were two counters. We did have to shuttle between the two a couple of times as the T-shirts and leaflets were given inside the hotel and documents had to be submitted outside at the scrutiny counter.At it took me a while to figure out wether we had to report at the Polaris counter or the scrutiny manned by Western Motorsports. The stay arrangements at Clarks Amer were good and definitely gave the event a great standard.

I wish there was a better media coverage and attendance at the press conference. A lot of effort and money was spent on arrangements but I sincerely felt a lack of media presence to do justice to match the magananimity of the event.

My parents were there to witness my flag off and my hubby dear to lift me in his Arms and made me sit on the ATV. It was indeed a dream come true for a person who had little hope of ever seeing a podium.I still remember Anukraman's words just before the Flag-off, "Don't keep thanking us,Our motto is to promote motorsports and we at Western Motorsports are just doing that.You wanted to be outdoors and its our duty to help you do that". Seriously they all did a wonderful job.

I had a special vehicle to back me up. Though I just did a few Kms on the Day 1. As I did feel betrayed by my body balance the off road terrain demands skillfull support of legs to balance the ATV,but still slowly I covered a few kms. and at every turn and bend there was a marshal to assist me but those few kms meant the world to me. I was then transported to finish line. Luckily it was a pleasent day and hunger was the only thing which bothered and not the heat, while I waited for everyone to reach the finish line.

The most pleasant surprise came that afternoon, when in the middle of nowhere were the awesome refreshment meal we were served. I am a caterer by profession and can say with a lot of authority that they were the best sandwiches i ever had. The juice and the brownie was the ultimate treat one could ask for....WELL DONE Western Motorsports. It would be not justified if I miss out on the mention of the visual treat we got by watching the hair raising descend of the Marhsal bikes and jeeps from an accute slope, Phewwww..... you guys at Western Motorsports are dare devils.

I have to commend Anjali also for keeping up with boys/men. She surely deserves a pat on her shoulder.

I loved this venue and the food of the break up party "The Farms", but I wished the audio visuals were not delayed so much. I also wish the announcements were a little more amicable and we all maintained the essence of sports and sportsmanship.

Overall I Loved the experience of a being a small part of the history in making. The Beginning of ATVs in India. I was happy that Polaris ATV Challenge gave me a platform to convey to the world that love for outdoors and adventure sports is a must. It gives you strength to fight the odds of life and facing challenges in good spirit. I hope I have been also able to achieve the aim of spreading the message of ability beyond disability. Through my participation i wanted to convey that the words adventure and motorsports go pretty well with physically challenged.

Just a few mindsets to change.

Thank you Polaris, Adventure Wheels and Western Motorsports for accepting me.

Deepa Malik