Planet TG: Dirty deeds

The first challenge is the Blindzone, where the driver must manoeuvre the Thar across a series of back-breaking undulations, with some of the mounds big enough to restrict visibility to the next mound on the S-bend course. We line up seventh – when it comes to off-roading, it’s better if you’re a lower number because the obstacle course wears out by the time the drivers behind you get to it, making it tougher for them.

With the spotter/co-driver not needing to be in the car at all times, Aashish stays outside the car at some points, to take pictures and guide me through the best route on the track. We complete the course with just one minor scrape to the underside. The Blindzone turns out to be a breeze for all the contestants, with everyone making it through in 4WD low, well inside the allotted time limit of three minutes.