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CI_Feb2018Ultimate Test of Skill

Last month I was in Peru, South America, for the Dakar Rally. My earlier perception about South America went out of the window. The old buildings remind you of India, but, apart from that, the roads and the seafront in Lima are no different from those in any European city. Like most modern cities there is heavy traffic but people obey traffic rules. Our guide said that law and order had improved over the past 10 to 15 years.

We stopped on the highway in the middle of nowhere to change a tyre at a roadside mender’s, like the ones we have on our highways; however, there was a small difference: the roadside tyre repair shop had a proper machine to remove and re-fit the tyre from the rim unlike the menders over here who use a hammer and tyre levers. In fact, that shop even had a wheel-balancing machine.

It was possible to watch legends like Carlos Sainz, Stefan Peter Hansel, and Sebastian Loeb in action from close quarters. The cars were getting close to 200 km/h on the flat desert, the biggest challenge being that you do not know when there is a drop, in which case you could be airborne at 200 km/h! This is the ultimate test of skill and attrition.

Most of the car manufacturers are getting ready for the Indian Auto Expo starting from 7 February.


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