Sunaina Pamudurthy, Binoy John and Bhairav Kuttaiah, three friends in the age group of about 22-25 years, have successfully completed one of the toughest long distance rally in the world, and that too in a Tata Nano Twist.
The trio and Nano drove across 13 countries, 5 mountain ranges and 3 river crossings besides the massive Mongolian desert all in an effort to raise funds and awareness for children in African shelters.
Their choice of a vehicle had engineers and specialists in the auto industry in a quandary as to whether such a feat could be a success, but the trio put such negative speculation to the test and emerged victorious.
The 48-day schedule from London to Mongolia was first heard off by Kuttaiah. A criminal lawyer by profession, Kuttaiah roped in Pamudurthy and John. The three are college mates and close friends besides avid rally aficionados and have taken part in the Singapore Grand Prix last year.
In order to participate in the Mongol Rally, you need to have a vehicle which is powered by a engine smaller than 1,000 cc. This led the friends unanimously point their finger in the direction of Tata Nano. With the team and car decided, the trio named themselves as the . They are the first African team to participate in Mongol Rally with an African car.
Various modifications were made to the Tata Nano to ensure its performance in the rally. These modifications included sump guards on the engine and fuel tank besides a Global Positioning System tracker to guide them through unknown territory. A 300 liter roof box for storage of travel equipment and a 22 liter jerry car for storage of fuel was also part of the changes made to the Nano.
The 2 month long Mongol Rally is an annual affair. It brings people from different parts of the world together, for a greater cause – raise atleast GBP 1,000 (INR 1 lakh approx) for charity. All teams must generate that much funds. NanoMADs decided on generating funds for MAD (Make A Difference, an organization which provides shelter for under privileged children).
The rally starts from London, and goes through France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, Russia to finally reach Mongolia.
Below is their journey in images.
The route –
London to Milan
London (UK) Paris (France) Bordeaux (France) Toulouse (France) Barcelona (Spain) Montpellier (France) Marseille (Spain) Grenoble (France) Geneva (Switzerland) Milan (Italy)