Anand Manjooran and Vishnu Raj with their gypsy
Two Malayali youth are heading to the grand finale of the world’s most adventurous motor race with a modified gypsy that holds Kerala registration. Kottayam native Anand Manjooran and his co-driver and navigator Vishnu Raj from Ernakulam had shipped their Suzuki gypsy to Malaysia via Kochi harbour. The two friends were winners of the Indian edition of the International Rainforest Challenge.
Interestingly, It is for the first time, two Malayalis acquired the opportunity to participate in the international racing competition hosted by Malaysia for a quarter of a century. Malaysia’s Rainforest Challenge is considered to be the third most arduous off-road racing competition in the globe. The 10-day-long racing consists of 26 phases through forests, steep boulders, hills, streams and marshy lands. The 250-kilometre race will commence from Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Malaysia’s Rainforest Challenge, which began in 1997. The winners from 21 countries will participate in the finale which has been organised from November 25 to December 10.
Anand Manjooran and Vishnu Raj had been participating in the Indian edition of the Rainforest Challenge since 2015 and became first-runner up in 2019 and 2021.
“The same Suzuki gypsy that we used for the past five years has been sent to Malaysia for the race. We had to struggle a lot for obtaining approval and customs clearance to ship the vehicle, which is only used for racing abroad”, said Anand.