Nazir Hoosein Memorial Drive Day 3: Participants get their first taste of montain terrain as they arrive in Kufri
New Delhi, November 12, 2021
A day of negotiating sharp curves, narrow roads and old school rally terrain culminated in the beautiful and remote hill station of Kufri in Himachal Pradesh with participants of the Nazir Hoosein Memorial Drive getting their first taste of real mountain terrain and suitably chastened for the journey ahead.
Flagged off from The Savoy Inn in Mussoorie, the cavalcade made their way down to Kempty Falls, via Kalapatthar, Peonta Sahib and entered Himachal Pradesh. This, arguably one of the longer stretches of the drive itself, treated everyone to idyllic scenery and humbling roads.
Driving through Solan, Kalaghati and Chail surrounded by beautiful Deodhar forests was a treat for sore eyes, even if at all times drivers’ eyes were locked on the road. It was also a great eye opener for what lies ahead and a chance for all to get acclimated to driving in the mountains.
All participants arrived in Kufri by sundown and were suitably prepared for the next day’s journey which would see them negotiate the epochal segment of the Himalayan Rally of old, the Jalori Pass.
“One of the highlights of a drive such as this, what makes it different from a rally is that it’s not competitive and therefore offers everyone a chance to experience these segments at leisure. I encourage everyone to take it all in, enjoy the journey,” Col S S Sekhon said. In the 80s at the original Himalayan Rally, the team of Col (Retd) Kulbir Singh Chauhan, VSM and Col Sekhon were the team to beat, winning multiple accolades over the years.
The Jalori Pass is widely regarded as one of the most challenging roads this side of the Himalayas. It sits on the way from Khanag towards Shoja and is closed for the later months of the year, due to heavy snowfall. After Shoja the climb to the boss itself is steep and narrow — cars will climb an elevation of 668m in under 6 km — with driver acumen tested to the limit.
The day’s journey was due to culminate in Manali, where participants will be flagged off to Rohtang Pass on November 12.
The Memorial Drive is a non-competitive event. It is a tribute to a legend, Nazir Hoosein who put India firmly on the map of International Motorsports. There is a huge community of ex-participants, volunteers, and officials of The Himalayan Rally, not forgetting the fans who remember with fondness their involvement in the Himalayan Rally from 1980 to 1990. The rally is a tribute to the participants, officials, and the volunteers of the 11 Himalayan Rallies.
The event has been organised by Team Firefox, who have 20 Himalayan rallies between them, and it is endorsed by IARC – the founding club of Nazir Hoosein.