This February 2016, from the 12th to 14th, the beautiful Cholistan hosted its 11th Annual Jeep Rally. It was proudly partnered by Indus Motors Company Ltd (IMC), considering they are making their mark in the Pakistani Motorsports scenario and was organized by the Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab. I was very fortunate and honored to be part of the rally from audience perspective as well as behind the scenes.
From Multan to Bahawalpur and finally onto Cholistan through Derawar Fort, the journey itself boosts the energy for the upcoming three days. As for the Cholistan Rally’s track, it was around 221 kilometers long with midpoint at 127.8kms with six turns and 13 check points.
The first vehicle to be launched during the Flag-Off was an Indus Motor Company’s branded Vigo.
In its 11th year, around 96 participants from all over Pakistan competed together which also included 2 female drivers in the rally. The first position was bagged by Sahibzada Sultan of Jhang beating the previous champion for 5 years, Nadir Magsi, as his vehicle broke down near the 201km mark. Ronnie Patel secured the second place while Nadeem Naeem came third in Category A.
Owais Khakwani, another one of the participants was actually sponsored by IMC to participate in the rally with a 3.0 L Turbo-Charged Diesel Vigo Champ modified for safety and performance stated that he was honored to represent them. However, due to technical issues with his vehicle, he couldn’t complete the race.
Amongst all the activities laid out for IMC crew and its guests at the rally, one was the Vigo Fun Fest by Toyota. It was chance to go off-roading the Vigo Champ for a roughly 2km test lap. The top 3 results for the Vigo Fun Fest were M. Aurangzeb Khan at 55.16 sec, Abdur Rafay Alavi at 57.47 sec, Rizwan Bhatti at 57.90 sec respectively.
Over the years, the rally has grown in terms of the drivers, the vehicles and their powers, the facilities to the infrastructure, so the minor glitches that even make it to the surface can definitely be put aside. The days of Cholistan were scorching while the nights were very cold, yet it was a once in a lifetime chance to experience the thrill and passion that is part of such a dune bashing event.
As for Toyota vehicles, I absolutely loved the Hilux. I believe Hilux is a pure luxury with amazing blend of style and is sporty, specifically made for off-roading experience. With the addition of a lot of super cool modifications, the original Hilux can also be upgraded from in terms of horse power, specifications and design to maximize the off-road experience. Hilux is definitely capable of becoming one of the off-roading beasts!
I thank Indus Motor Company to ensure this experience which is known to be the biggest off-road rally in the country and really looking forward to see more flavors added on in Cholistaan.