Driving on bad roads can be an adventure in itself. In the past decade or two, with the rise in popularity of motorsport, off-roading has taken this unpleasant experience and developed it into a thrilling adventure. Today, it has grown from a niche weekend activity to a sport whose calendar boasts of world-class competitions held on challenging courses all over India. Apollo Tyres, one of India’s largest tyre brands has now taken the lead in promoting off-roading through its Bad Road Buddies campaign. Flagging off this campaign was a weekend of thrilling off-road excitement at Dandeli and Quepem in March 2019.
The brainchild of Mr. Neeraj Kanwar, VCMD, Apollo Tyres, this one of a kind celebration of off-roading successfully exhibited beyond doubt that ‘bad roads lead to good places’. The tribe of off-road enthusiasts came together for a two-day extravaganza of mud, grit and adventurous bonhomie at Goa, where the cars – magnificent beasts primed for performance – were flagged off towards the picturesque Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary. The drive was challenging but enchanting, with the curving roads of the sanctuary flanked by dense forests on both sides and a canopy above proving to be the perfect warm-up for the hardcore off-road action that was to come. Adding to the joy was the wildlife seen along the route, an attestation to Dandeli’s tag of a must-visit environ for shutterbugs.
After a night of high spirits, the next day saw the participants and their rides on their way back from Dandeli to Quepem in Goa, where a challenge awaited them. Near this quaint Goan town, the badlands sported four off-road tracks, specially prepared by Apollo Tyres to test the gathering of off-road enthusiasts in their skills. To help brave the courses, the cars were fitted with Apollo’s latest range of all-terrain Apterra tyres. What followed was a grueling display of sheer spirit, determination and adrenaline as the cars roared from steep climbs to sheer slopes, through mud, gravel, sand and even water. The course was enjoyed thoroughly by the drivers, who relished the challenge and escaped unscathed. Apart from the trying path itself, they greatly appreciated the Apterra tyres, which were of great help in gaining purchase on the trail, a toast to the spirit of exploring the unexplored.
A notable participant in this event was first-time off-roader and batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar. Though he is an avid go-carter and enjoys driving, this was the first time the Little Master tried his hand at off-road driving. And much like the rest of the drivers, he enjoyed the experience thoroughly and commended Apollo’s commitment to developing a tyre tailor-made for off-road driving and also helping the growth of the activity in India through its Bad Road Buddies campaign.
After a day well spent in the outdoors, Apollo Tyres’ brand ambassador Sachin Tendulkar officially unveiled the Apterra range of tyres to the press and public at Quepem. Following the unveiling ceremony, the drivers were treated to his fine company at the post-event party, a fitting culmination of the two previous days – the event was after all, one big celebration of off-road driving and the passion that it inspires!