First round of prepared class of Cholistan Jeep Rally

Published February 24, 2024
A vehicle on its way to the finish line at the Cholistan Jeep Rally on Friday. — Dawn
A vehicle on its way to the finish line at the Cholistan Jeep Rally on Friday. — Dawn

BAHAWALPUR: Zahid Mahmood Chaudhry of the Four by Four (4x4) Jeep Club, Bahawalpur, in a surprise move, demonstrated an upset, winning the first round in the main prepared category’s A class on the second day of the Cholistan Jeep Rally near Dilwash Stadium at Derawar Fort, about 79 kms from here, on Friday.

Mr Chaudhry covered a distance of 231 kms from Dilwash Stadium to Jamgarh Fort in one hour fifty-one minutes. It was hard luck for Faisal Shadikhel, whose vehicle broke down during the race and developed a technical fault, due to which he could not continue the race and cover the required distance. In the first round of the prepared category, participated by a total of 37 racers, former champion Nadir Magsi with 1 hour and 54.3 minutes and Asif Fazal with 1 hour and 58.42 minutes were adjudged second and third.

Mr Chaudhry thrilled thousands of spectators reaching across the country and his competitors by driving his vehicle with full skill and grip on the steering at a very high speed, managing not only to defeat both of them in the first round of the prepared category but also successfully beat Mr Shadikhel, who was on top in the qualifying round on Thursday. Mr Shadikhel had covered three kilometres distance within 1.50 minute while Mr Chaudhry was third and Mr Magsi could achieve second position.

Mr Magsi is now flexing for his success in the second round on Sunday. Mr Shadikhel may not participate in the rally.

Earlier, on Friday morning, a colourful flag-off ceremony was held at the venue. Making its first ever appearance, the Desert Rangers Bahawalpur’s camel dance band troupe thrilled thousands of spectators and rally’s participants with their beautiful march and playing attractive tunes, converting the desert’s usually silent and peaceful atmosphere into a romantic environment. This is the first time that Desert Rangers’ camel band party made its appearance on the historic occasion of the 19th Cholistan Jeep Rally. The crowd and its jeep rally drivers gave credit to the Desert Rangers’ officials and the organizers of the jeep rally.

The prepared category’s second and final round would be held on Sunday, and the participants would cover 231 kms distance from Dilwash Stadium to Bhijnot Fort. The race of the stock category participants would be held in the desert on Saturday when the racers would cover a distance of 231kms from Dilwash Stadium to Bhijnot Fort. In prepared category’s B class, Asad, Umer, and Gohar were placed in first, second, and third place, while in C class, Asif, Bewarag, and Falak were adjudged first, second, and third.

Meanwhile, security was on high alert at the venue of the rally and in its adjacent areas. The heavy contingent of police along with Army jawans and the personnel of other law-enforcing agencies, including Dolphin force and Elite force have intensified patrolling, especially during nighttime in the desert. The crumbling building of Derawar Fort, TDCP’s resort, Cholistan Development Authority ‘s rest house, and other public and private buildings with their illumination with multi-coloured lights and bulbs by the organizers gave a beautiful look, especially after sunset, as during nighttime the desert areas normally usually remained under the cover of darkness, creating generally a sense of fear in the desolate areas.

Published in Dawn, February 24th, 2024

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