- 1The NanoMads will participate in the Mongol Rally
- 2They will try to complete the challenge in a Tata Nano
- 3The Mongol Rally travels 18000 km from London to Mongolia
As many as 18000 kilometres through 17 countries, five mountain ranges and three deserts from London to Mongolia – the Mongol Rally is all set to be an epic journey for 3 Bangaloreans – Sunaina Pamudurthy, Bhairav Kuttaiah and Binoy John. The trio is hoping to become the first Indian team to take on the challenge in an Indian car, the TATA Nano.
Having chosen the Nano as their chosen vehicle for the rally, the ‘NanoMads’, as they are calling themselves, have raised quite a few eyebrows.
Bhairav Kuttaiah remembers, “One of the funniest reactions that we get is that will you guys even fit in the car? Vinod and I are both six feet tall but we’re pretty comfortable in the back seat. We’ll just let Sunaina do the driving!”
Sunaina Pamudurthy told team NDTV about how everyone was very skeptical about the Nano at the beginning. “They think we won’t survive the Autobahn in Germany because there is a minimum speed there. They feel that we won’t even be able to cross the borders there.”
Why the Nano then? Well, because, the NanoMads want to be the first Indian team in an all Indian car to cross the finish line at the rally.
The Mongol Rally is not a race to the finish but an endurance challenge for charity. It has a unique set of rules. For starters, you’re completely on your own and that means there are no pre-designated routes, no maps to follow and no logistical support from the organisers.
The participants can only drive in a vehicle that’s not customised for a rally. What’s more, it is mandatory for the teams to raise a minimum of a thousand pounds for charity.
The NanoMads though want to raise close to a million dollars for the ‘Make a Difference’ foundation, an NGO that supports children and provides them shelter homes in Bangalore.
Team member John insists that charity is indeed their biggest driving force. “Most people just ask us if we’re crazy and yes, and we are crazy enough to make the difference,” he said.
The trio realises that the rally will be an epic journey with a number of obstacles along the way. Kuttaiah is expecting some serious challenges. “There will be large tracks where we will be driving in complete wilderness. There will be Siberian bears, sand spiders, snakes and others along the way. Also there will be extremities of change in climate and temperatures.”
So as the NanoMads prepare for what may be the toughest journey of their life, they make light of the situation by saying if they can drive on the roads of Bangalore, they’re ready for anything!