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Thread: The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi

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    Default The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi

    Well, how can I even begin to tell, the tale is long and one always struggles with words when Doctor NN is missing. To make an attempt at laying out the story, which is a bit overdue (though not without benefits of better media coverage) but nevertheless is worthy of doing justice to. ….

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi - filephp?id9832
    The Cholistan Jeep Rally organized by TDCP is the biggest and the most prestigious event on the Pakistan offroad and motorsport calendar. The rally was not held last year primarily on account of crowd security concerns and this year it was being eagerly anticipated by enthusiasts and participants following a very successful Jhal Magsi rally in late 2011. So the 7th Cholistan Jeep Rally held on February 16th -19th turned out to be a landmark event with the organizers assisted by Mr Mehmood Majeed (Bhawalpur 4x4 Club) managed to pulled a fast one on the participants with a major re-designing of the track. Over 70 vehicles participated in the hugely successful event that spanned over 4 days with registration/technical inspection in Bahawalpur on the 16th followed by recce/pre-running, qualification and race days. A very large number of spectators and enthusiasts from all over the country came to the Derawar Fort in Bahawalpur which serves as the starting and finishing point of the rally.

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi - filephp?id10241
    There has always been great enthusiasm at the Islamabad Jeep Club for the Cholistan Rally ever since the last adventure by Doc NN and DesertDevil Asad Marwat. This year, with Doc NN missing from the register, two IJC vehicles had been registered to enter the rally: Asad’s Mitsubishi Pajero and yours truly on the IJC Project FJ40 Concordia. Unfortunately on the last minute, Asad Marwat could not attend the event on account of the sudden death of a close family member. Apart from sharing Asad’s grief this was obviously a significant setback for us as Asad is always instrumental in all rally aspects and we felt kinda lost as we were starting out. Our new hosts for the event were Team Evo Saidhi lead by our old friend, Qasim Saidhi who accommodated us next to their camp and helped us get comfortable with the terrain and the surroundings of Cholistan. Our good friend, Adnan Siddiqui on his Hilux Vigo was the other participant from Islamabad.

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi - filephp?id10041
    By way of a race summary, Nadir Magsi took the category A and overall podium on his Toyota Tacoma which was running a turbo charged 1GR 4.0L V6. Ronnie Patel’s modified Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution suffered engine failure in the second half after reportedly leading the race at mid point. Anas Khakwani and Zafar Magsi took Category A and overall second and third positions respectively in Mitsubishi Pajero Evolutions. In the Hilux Vigo dominated category B, Bahawalpur’s own Makhdum Amir Abbas took first in on a while Awais Khakwani stood second and Jam Kamal Khan third. The very competitive Category C saw Mehrab Khan on his Hilux Vigo on the podium with Mehmood Majeed second on a beautifully styled Hilux Vigo. Ali Magsi on a Nissan Patrol took a hard fought third place edging out Mian Shabir Bhurjundiwalley’s Suzuki Jimny and Syed Asif Imam’s Mitsubishi Pajero. Category D, always a Suzuki Jumny affair saw Mian Rafiq Ahmed take first, Khan Muhammad second and Mian Zubair Ahmed taking third just getting past Ghulam Hussain Sharr.

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi - filephp?id9963
    The race saw around 40% of the a total 70 participating vehicles not being able to reach the finish line mainly on account of a major re-design of the race track across the sands of the Cholistan desert. This year’s track in addition to involving negotiation of a number of very tall sand dunes with soft sand, largely did away with the traditional Cholistan straight runs across in favour of small winding tracks through much of the 210 km distance. Most drivers categorized the track as very demanding with greater stress on vehicle suspensions than previous Cholistan rallies. The traditional Cholistani variation and deterioration in the track with the progress of the race apparently played in significantly with the majority of the later starting vehicles suffering. The two soft sand dunes prior to stage break appear to have been a major hurdle with several vehicles getting stuck and half of the Jimny pack ending up with DNFs.

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi - filephp?id9960
    In that respect the starting order determined by the previous day’s qualification round was important albeit not as decisive as in Jhal Magsi where dust factor renders overtaking virtually impossible. This year’s qualification track was mainly the same as previous rallies though slightly shorter at around 2.4kms long. The track was a combination of deep sand runs and whoops and having gotten an early draw our FJ40 Concordia made the best of its power advantage to register a good time of 2 1. Ronnie Patel was fastest in the middle of the pack at 1:44 up until Nadir Magsi put up 1:38 on the board to claim pole position. Qasim Saidhi also put up an impressive 1:51 despite having landed nose down with slight damage to his Evo in the mid track whoops on his first recce run. Perhaps the performances of the day were by the Khakwanis with Awais registering 1:51 on his Vigo despite a front tire coming off the bead on the last turn and Anas closing at 1:50 on his Evo. Adnan Siddiqui and Rahid Abdullah were exceptional with 2 1 on a B category Vigo and C category Triton respectively.

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi - 425984 353073161392166 100000684547120 1156661 588757549 n
    For the experienced rally campaigner and our good friend Qasim Saidhi, it would actually be the first time crossing the Cholistan finish line after disappointments in previous attempts. Following his recent podium finishes in Jhal Magsi and Nooriabad and his past accolades as a category D Jimny driver, Qasim has come to be considered the man to watch with his multi-talented navigator Rizwan Buttar’s calm assistance. Qasim finished 5th in Category A after a flat tire slowing him down along with managing to get stuck on the sand dunes twice. It was encouraging to see that his very well prepared Mitsubishi Evolution had been sponsored by ZIC and PTCL Evo for the race. We are truly thankful to Qasim, Rizwan and their crew for hosting us and helping us throughout the event, without which we probably would have not have made it out there and participated in the event.
    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi - filephp?id9833
    As for us, the IJC Rally Team Concordia which set out to do something no one though was worth doing or even doable as such: race a restored/modified FJ40 at Cholistan and put up a competitive showing despite low-budgets and second hand parts. In our first sandy desert outing, after an early draw and strong showing at qualification, we started the race a 17th off of a competitive grid of over 70 participants. Right after the start, we got somewhat distracted negotiating the tremendous crowd and made a silly navigational error that cost us over 30 minutes. Keeping our pace together after that was not easy but having been released of any tension to lodge a competitive finishing time, we ended up trying a number of cocky things from sideways drifting, long air jumps to short ballistic runs pushing the limits of the car. We were making good progress despite our second-hand shocks fading away fast up until we managed to get stuck on the first sand dune. In our attempts to dig our tires out of the sand, we stumbled upon a very agile sand serpent emerging from under the front tire to register his appreciation of the sexy BFG MTs. After pushing the car out with the help of some spectators, we followed a steady pace to the finish line though still losing some time on account of minor mechanical issues. So in the end, while we may not have a podium finish to show for our adventure, together with having qualified 17th , matched top speed of 150kmph with some of fastest cars and having finished the race and we can pen it down as a significant achievement on our part given limitations. We did gather more media footage than perhaps ever available on any recent rally in Pakistan.




    In the end, while offroad racing all over the world remains a dangerous and expensive sport, with the grace of the Almighty, offroad rallies in Pakistan have maintained a good safety record for both participants and spectators despite budgetary constraints, organization difficulties and limited sponsor support. This year saw a healthy increase in sponsorships with RedBull, Zong, PTCL, PSO, Toyota, Guard and others highlighting their brands through official support to participants. Another focus of Pakistan rally promoters is to focus on international participation and for the future IJC Team Concordia is also looking actively to build our existing partnership with the Pheonix 4405 Land Use Buggy based out of California USA.
    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi - filephp?id10145

    Photo & Video Credits: Nashit Ashraf, Suhaib Kiani, Mohammad Siddique, Iqbal Ghangla and Mehroze Kiani

    Link to full race results :
    http://www.ijc.com.pk/forum/viewtopi...start=45#p7856

    "If YOU don't believe in what you're doing it'll never work."

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    Quote Originally Posted by yaserag View Post
    yeah, it feels like the right choice... took it for a spin and made some ambitious high speed turns in phase 5 and it held its own...only prob is its eaten up all the money that was supposed to be for the mods ... slow and steady Inshallah... a few months more .. spot on on your comment about aftermarket stuff availability in the US... that was one of the main reasons i went for it... lets see dreaming podiums at this stage is a lil premature but hey no harm in dreaming
    Slow and Steady or not, you will be needing around 1.5M more to competitively prepare your vehicle for rallies and if you want to compete this season than you need to start NOW. 2003 Surf with 1KD is a very nice vehicle, better than any of the B-Category Vigos and you will not be able to blame your horse for not getting you the podium.

    Start making a list of things you think you need, put a price before them and also the transit time to have them in your garage. Then add the the time of getting them fixed on the vehicle. Calculate everything and you will know why I am asking that you need to start now. This list will also give you an idea which things you need to order first.

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    @Suhaib

    You must have seen "Injun" or atleast its pictures, the grey FJ-40 with 1UZ that a fellow pakwheeler Nauman Shafique (Noms) had, it was sold for 1.2M the other day. He bought a 1995 model 2.7 liter petrol Surf, which takes him to office every day, serves as his vacation 4x4 as well as his future rally or service vehicle. Hope you understand what I am suggesting.

    I know that you love your 40, but it has its limitations, you can overcome some but you cannot redesign it completely. You are brave, courageous and now a decently skilled rally driver. You are technically sound and have a team of exceptional people that support you both on and off the track. Youth and resources will not always be on your side.

    Purely my personal opinion and certainly not to offend in any way, you need a better horse for rallies that can do justice with your enormous efforts and skills.

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    Qasim Bhai,

    Many Thanks for your kind words regarding myself and the team. I hear you on selling the FJ40 (and my CJ) and buying a Surf (or anything "decent").... its the sort of thing that I hear time and again from people around me, and the general impression that I come across repeatedly from people when talking about rallying.

    Needless to say, if I have not as yet been able to get myself to listen to all the good advice so generously offered to me, unfortunately there is little hope for sense prevailing anytime in the forseeble future

    Why? is what anyone would ask and everyone does ask! I will try and explain it a bit more eloquently, but after a little break....
    "If YOU don't believe in what you're doing it'll never work."

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuhaibKiani View Post
    Or rather "How not to set-up the suspension if you do!".... aah well, maybe I shouldn't really downplay this until its proven to be any better otherwise!

    Just some funny stuff I ended up doing over the weekend, trying to figure out what it is I would do differently! It was actually very interesting and informative to look at it with slow motion and image stabilisation. Apart from the technical perspective (which will be plain boring for the two people following this thread ) it looked slightly less painful and a bit more funny



    Maybe there should be a disclaimer or something on this video lest people get the wrong ideas
    And besides all the logic and stories I will concoct for myself, a 2.7 Surf just doesn't do 2.01 on Cholistan qualification, in any gen or format
    "If YOU don't believe in what you're doing it'll never work."

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    Yeap,,,, 2.7 Surf would not do 2.01 in Cholistan, but than it needs not to, because it will be in C-Category next season

    1UZ has a lot of power, its the FJ's frame that is not able to use the power to the fullest. Cholistan's qualification track was a few kilometers long triangle, hardly anything to check the handling of the 4x4s, not all qualification tracks are like this.

    Anyhow, now that you insist to drive the FJ in rallies, what can I say except that you will always have my prayers and best wishes

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    @saidhi

    the categories are being changed for the coming event? can you please shed some light
    its all about power to weight ratio...

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    Default The Defence....

    OK Qasim Bhai, I think its in order for me to try and address the why question to the best of my abilities as I definately feel I owe it to my friends, family and team, if not myself to do so to the best of my abilities here. Its been a long time coming and a build-up has been...well, eventful and exciting to say the least. I know you along with many other well wishers all mean very well in your long standing advice to try and take a different approach to my aims and ambition to rallying or in more appropriate terms "desert racing". And at the same time I have been quite adamant/stubborn (read dheeth) not just my words but even more so in my actions to stick to "my way" of doing things. And any analysis of SK's way would surely point to the highway being the more advisable route to glory and contentment. Nevertheless, the good news is that in the defence, I wil lnot just bore you with my words but also re-attempt to stuff down everyone's throught some facts from the perspective that I view them with...i.e. all my cameras And yes, you had promised some more views/some photos from your's/your your bewafa / waada khilaf navigator's eyes/cams as well! Maybe this is the time to help us out with them here Now with everyone's permission should I begin...aahhhhm... Yaanee ke ijjazat hai aap kee?
    "If YOU don't believe in what you're doing it'll never work."

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    Ijazat hai.......Ijazat Hai!!

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    @Suhaib

    Brother, Its your right,,, you simply don't need any "ijazat"

    All at Pak Wheels know first hand how painstakingly you built this FJ from scratch, you affiliation and attachment with this project, which has evolved to be a very powerful 4x4, is completely understandable. Concordia is like a child to you and I fully appreciate your fondness of it.

    Sub batain chooro, yeh batao keh aab hum Concordia main kya changes kar rahain hain.

    Inshallah, next time we meet on track, I would request you to allow me to drive it.

    Remember, I told you that I was afraid of pushing Evo on turns in Nooriabad and I asked Ashraf Bhai to give me a test drive, those 15-20 kilometers with Ashraf Bhai changed my driving style on Evo. Results of last year's rallies confirm the same.

    May be I can be of some help, we can also ask Nadir Bhai, Ronnie Bhai and Ashraf Bhai to all try your FJ. This will certainly be very helpful. Your FJ has more power than Evo, may be if you find some good suggestions on handling that raw power, you can improve your time and kick Evo's ***, which should be your next target

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    Thanks @nn and @saidhi ! I will take the discussion upstairs and let this thread rest a bit as it seems quite exhausted by now
    "If YOU don't believe in what you're doing it'll never work."

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