Regulars here might remember that our friend and favourite Motoroid Prabhakar Rao AVR aka Probiker was a part of the gutsy team which posted a new world record for the fastest round of Golden Quadrilateral. The drive saw Prabhakar and his Punto covering 6000kms in 79 hours and 30 mins flat.
It seems like Probiker’s thirst for touring and posting new records wasn’t really quenched by the above achievement as the endurance driver recently decided to attempt another record breaking drive in his trusted Fiat Punto. This time he wanted to test the Fiat Grande Punto 90 HP to the Limits of Endurance. He was accompanied by a friend from Hyderabad and another from Vijayawada. The trio drove from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, a distance of 3,884 km, in 68 hours and 11 minutes to come up with an all new world record. The earlier record was of 79 hours and 15 minutes.
The team- A.V.R. Prabhakar Rao (33), R. Satya Teja (24) and Y.V. Krishna Rao (27) began their drive from Leh at 3.10 a.m. on October 6 and reached Kanyakumari at 11.21 p.m. on October 8. Following is the route map followed by AVR and his team-
Leh – Upshi – Pang – Sarchu – Jispa – Manali – Bilaspur – Chandigarh – Ambala – Panipat – Delhi – Agra – Gwalior – Jhansi – Lalitpur – Sagar – Narasimhapur – Seoni – Nagpur – Adilabad – Hyderabad – Kurnool – Anantapur – Bangalore – Dharmapuri – Salem – Dindigul – Madurai – Tirunelveli – Kanyakumari
The team not just blazed through pothole-ridden roads but also experienced bad traffic conditions, extreme weather and lack of proper road signs.
“It was minus 15 degree Celsius in Leh and layers of snow covered our car windows. With no visibility, we had to slow down and could not sleep at all,” recalls Prabhakar.
He further adds that on reaching down to the plains in MP, they realized that “the temperature was 35 degree Celsius,”
The team took turns at the wheel and the only stops they took were for food and fuel. “One of us was driving, the other was navigating while the third was sleeping at any given point of time,” AVR says.
Map My India was kind enough to install a GPS device in AVR’s Punto and helped the team to get the required documentation for the Drive. Also the navigator helped in some situations where there were no roads.
HV Kumar was online throughout the drive along with many of the Forum Members till the last point in ‘The Journey’ providing live assistance in case of route difficulties. HVK was the first to congratulate him in the late hour at the finish point.
Quite unexpectedly, the drive thru the Himalayas wasn’t the toughest as Prabhakar comments that Central India was the most challenging part of the trip because of pitiable road conditions. “Large swathes of supposed main roads were filled with crater-sized potholes almost to an extent of 400 kms.” he says.
Prabhakar and his team got Full support from Fiat for service, Fuel & accomodation, Yokohama Tires gave a set of Rally tires, Map My India installed their GPS device, HV Kumar & forum did the route planning along with live assistance for the full 68 hours, Motul Lubricants for the fully synthetic oil, Team HWS was the photography partner and Race Dynamics & Spitfire Automotive provided the Tuning boxes, dyno runs and all the support for setting up the car.
We are proud to have Prabhakar as a part of our family. Also, we would like to thank his friends- R. Satya Teja and Y.V. Krishna Rao for being an indispensable part of the team.