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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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    Almost all dangerous turns, dune tops were marked with red flags. This was first of the two around 100-150 feet high dunes that were part of the rally track, this was just before CP 8 and the next was around CP 10

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi -383935

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    From here to top and then down

    Unluckily, We/Evo got stuck here during race, had to dig it out, wasting around 10 more minutes, there went our Podium dreams

    Later came to know that Suhaib also got stuck here, how ironic, two seasoned off-roaders, both getting their vehicles stuck at the same place, non off-roaders went past while we were digging ourselves out

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi -383940

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi -383941

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    Saw hundreds of cows and camels along the track, although for race day, locals are instructed to keep their animals away from the track but everynow and than one would pop out of no where, had two close calls during rally, luckily, both times cow and Evo survived an impact


    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi -383942

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi -383943

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi -383944

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi -383945

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    Mian Farooq and Mian Shabbir of Barchundi Sharif practicing around the pipeline track

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi -383951

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi -383952

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    Bunkers remind you that Indian Border is not far

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi -383953

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    It is indeed ironic! And while there can be a number of explainations, I think your logic on the matter was quite accurate. In both cases, between our diesel recce vehicles and the high rev petrol race race vehicles there was a fundamental difference in how the dunes should be handled on raceday. Add MTs to the equation and you have little margin for error.....

    Nevertheless, it was rather strange and quite stressfull being stuck on that dune. Farooq almost threw in the towel with both our diffs sitting on the sand and a desert viper snake sitting under the front left tire. We only managed to push the car out with the help of some very motivated spectators.....

    Video of the dune from recce day:


    Quote Originally Posted by saidhi View Post
    From here to top and then down

    Unluckily, We/Evo got stuck here during race, had to dig it out, wasting around 10 more minutes, there went our Podium dreams

    Later came to know that Suhaib also got stuck here, how ironic, two seasoned off-roaders, both getting their vehicles stuck at the same place, non off-roaders went past while we were digging ourselves out

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi - 383940

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi - 383941
    "If YOU don't believe in what you're doing it'll never work."

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    Thats a nice pic of the Bharchundi Surfa/Kaikraa (they must have a name for that thing ) Though I have not spent much time around them, the Bharchundis are interesting characters and crazy drivers....

    Whats most interesting is that Mian Rafiq, who tood D podium on a 1300cc Jimny and I believe is related to Bharchundis, was faster on raceday than both Mian Farooq and Shabbir! Had Mian Rafiq raced in Category A on same car, he would have actually stood 4th

    I think with the obvious limitations of the categories here, we need to further classify the Jimnys into "Japanese Jimny" and "Pakistani Jinny" (i.e. from Jinn!!). I don't know what jinns these guys put in them but those things are really really fast...

    Quote Originally Posted by saidhi View Post
    Mian Farooq and Mian Shabbir of Barchundi Sharif practicing around the pipeline track

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi - 383951
    "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
    Thats a nice pic of the Bharchundi Surfa/Kaikraa (they must have a name for that thing ) Though I have not spent much time around them, the Bharchundis are interesting characters and crazy drivers....

    Whats most interesting is that Mian Rafiq, who tood D podium on a 1300cc Jimny and I believe is related to Bharchundis, was faster on raceday than both Mian Farooq and Shabbir! Had Mian Rafiq raced in Category A on same car, he would have actually stood 4th

    I think with the obvious limitations of the categories here, we need to further classify the Jimnys into "Japanese Jimny" and "Pakistani Jinny" (i.e. from Jinn!!). I don't know what jinns these guys put in them but those things are really really fast...
    D category Jimny infact has a 1.6 liter DOHC engine of Liana, top of 1.3 and 1.6 is exactly the same, almost all Jimny's have this engine, now you know why I left that Category

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    Default Jimny Disqualification Story...

    Quote Originally Posted by saidhi View Post
    D category Jimny infact has a 1.6 liter DOHC engine of Liana, top of 1.3 and 1.6 is exactly the same, almost all Jimny's have this engine, now you know why I left that Category
    One of the rather sad incidents of the rally was the disqualification of Gauhar from Multan Racing Club. In the driver's meeting, TDCP officials announced that two cars from Category D were disqualified because of "tampering with block". One of the cars was Gauhar's who had suffered a roll over at Jhal and had subsequently put in a Kabuli engine in his Jimny. There was a bit of an exchange between Multan and Bahawalpur chaps at the meeting but thankfully it was quitened down. The two drivers were allowed to compete in Category C if they wanted.

    The next day at qualification I ran into Gauhar (who had helped us escape from Jhal by hooking up up with the Multan contingent after the race) whom Rana Sumair was trying to convince that he should race the race even if its in category C. Gauhar was insisting that his engine was stock and if he raced, he would be deemed a "cheater" in the eyes of the competitors and as a protest he was going to withdraw from the race. The main TDCP official also walked up to Gauhar and tried to insist that he should race nevertheless though the disqualification would stand as TDCP was making an effort to curtail cheating even if Gauhar may have been wrongly caught up in that. I requested Gauhar to show us the engine in question and he lifted his Jimny's hood without hesitation and offered that TDCP could check the engine by any metric to see if there was any tampering whatsoever. He showed me the rear edge of the block which supposedly should have a number on it but as per TDCP officially the number had been scratched/machined out. I suggested to the TDCP official that Gauhar should be allowed to race under an appeal pending a full check-up of the engine to be done in Bahawalpur following the race (sorry had to put in my Dakar 2 cents )....

    Anyways, to end the story, Gauhar never raced but most of the "tampered" Jimnys did! It was kinda sad for me personally because Gauhar was very appreciative and helpful to us in Jhal and a very good natured chap overall. At the same, quite lucky of Mian Rafiq (who is also a good chap and a very skilled driver) to have walked away with the podium, though I suspect (and hope) that this Jimny vs Jinny business won't last too long.... its too embarrassing for the big block racers
    "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
    ..............though I suspect (and hope) that this Jimny vs Jinny business won't last too long....
    Having said that, its obviously been questionable whether this whole rallying/racing business is gonna last long. Its supposedly too dangerous an affair!! Bullocks says Nadir Magsi :



    One has to say Mashallah! after that one, ain' it!!!
    "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
    One of the rather sad incidents of the rally was the disqualification of Gauhar from Multan Racing Club. In the driver's meeting, TDCP officials announced that two cars from Category D were disqualified because of "tampering with block". One of the cars was Gauhar's who had suffered a roll over at Jhal and had subsequently put in a Kabuli engine in his Jimny. There was a bit of an exchange between Multan and Bahawalpur chaps at the meeting but thankfully it was quitened down. The two drivers were allowed to compete in Category C if they wanted.

    The next day at qualification I ran into Gauhar (who had helped us escape from Jhal by hooking up up with the Multan contingent after the race) whom Rana Sumair was trying to convince that he should race the race even if its in category C. Gauhar was insisting that his engine was stock and if he raced, he would be deemed a "cheater" in the eyes of the competitors and as a protest he was going to withdraw from the race. The main TDCP official also walked up to Gauhar and tried to insist that he should race nevertheless though the disqualification would stand as TDCP was making an effort to curtail cheating even if Gauhar may have been wrongly caught up in that. I requested Gauhar to show us the engine in question and he lifted his Jimny's hood without hesitation and offered that TDCP could check the engine by any metric to see if there was any tampering whatsoever. He showed me the rear edge of the block which supposedly should have a number on it but as per TDCP officially the number had been scratched/machined out. I suggested to the TDCP official that Gauhar should be allowed to race under an appeal pending a full check-up of the engine to be done in Bahawalpur following the race (sorry had to put in my Dakar 2 cents )....

    Anyways, to end the story, Gauhar never raced but most of the "tampered" Jimnys did! It was kinda sad for me personally because Gauhar was very appreciative and helpful to us in Jhal and a very good natured chap overall. At the same, quite lucky of Mian Rafiq (who is also a good chap and a very skilled driver) to have walked away with the podium, though I suspect (and hope) that this Jimny vs Jinny business won't last too long.... its too embarrassing for the big block racers
    Your suggestion was spot on, TDCP should have allowed Gohar to race and checked the engine later

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuhaibKiani View Post
    Having said that, its obviously been questionable whether this whole rallying/racing business is gonna last long. Its supposedly too dangerous an affair!! Bullocks says Nadir Magsi :



    One has to say Mashallah! after that one, ain' it!!!
    Nadir Bhai is amazing, seems dangerous from the side but Nadir Bahi is probably among a very few drivers in current rallies who never had a roll over, so, he is rightly the safest too

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    Awesome coverage!!!! My only objection, its coming at recce speed..........................common............. ...Gentlemen floor it!

    Nadir's flybys seem to be in a totally different league!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by nn View Post
    Awesome coverage!!!! My only objection, its coming at recce speed..........................common............. ...Gentlemen floor it!

    Nadir's flybys seem to be in a totally different league!!!!
    Will try to speed things on the pace of the thread!

    Nadir's flyby is very fast indeed .....
    "If YOU don't believe in what you're doing it'll never work."

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    Well, I dont have words to appreciate this thread and photography.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmeerUsman View Post
    Well, I dont have words to appreciate this thread and photography.
    Thank You @AmeerUsman! Good to hear feedback, keeps you on track and motivated to continue!
    "If YOU don't believe in what you're doing it'll never work."

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    Default Race Day...

    At the starting line! We were together with Adnan Siddiqui on his B Stock Vigo....
    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi - filephp?id10160

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi - filephp?id10053

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi - filephp?id10052

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi - filephp?id10055
    "If YOU don't believe in what you're doing it'll never work."

  19. #138
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    Default Ah, Cholistan and its Trickeries....

    Well, don't have much to say except the Almighty has some logic underlying everything! We just missed a turn and headed straight on a large track which seemed like it had seen plenty of fresh traffic. While our sixth senses told us something was off, we were going very fast (by our standards) and it too us a good 15 mins and 23 kms of driving to finally face the fact that we were lost. Anyways, turned around and headed back until we corrected us the error that cost us 30 mins....

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi - filephp?id9868

    Launch @4:55; Missed turn @7: 00 and the rest is just straight on from there. Don't ask why I selected the music, but it was a free youtube track that seemed to gel


    And the realisation and return journey as well with some more reflective music....In hindsight, it was a pretty boring track this one, though was good practice to take the fear out of going fast on the sand!
    "If YOU don't believe in what you're doing it'll never work."

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    Default Muhammad Iqbal Ghangla Photography...

    Many thanks to Mr. Ghangla for taking these excellent snaps and sharing them too. These were probably right after we got back onto the track....
    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi - 404271 353077978058351 100000684547120 1156694 1831573598 n

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi - 425606 353060651393417 100000684547120 1156592 2079831649 n

    ..... just after the jumps which Qasim was really fond off. Used to try these twice a day leading up to the race once on TLC and then on Evo Good to see that Mr. Ghangla immortalized the moment :
    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi - 425984 353073161392166 100000684547120 1156661 588757549 n
    "If YOU don't believe in what you're doing it'll never work."

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    Default Nashit Ashraf Photography

    We seemed to missed the next left as well, though corrected it just in time sacrificing a few bushes in the process. Nashit and Akif were there to catch us in the act... Thanks Guys!

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi - filephp?id10158

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi - filephp?id9829

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi - filephp?id10159

    The Cholistan Jeep Rally 2012 Report: IJC Rally Team Concordia and Team Saidhi - filephp?id10157

    Hats off to Nashit for staying put for last two shots as Concordia was heading straight at him at some stage!!!
    "If YOU don't believe in what you're doing it'll never work."

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