India’s most intense and challenging motorsport rally, Maruti Suzuki Raid De Himalaya, concluded in Leh.
The 19th edition of the rally ensured that only the toughest of the tough survived the extreme temperatures, altitude and rugged terrains with less than 50% of the overall competitors making it to the finish line.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Tarun Garg, Executive Vice President - Marketing, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. said, “Raid De Himalaya has always been synonymous with adventure, uncertainty, and extreme conditions. But this year it stepped one notch higher with the new gruelling route which challenged abilities of even the most established rallyists. I congratulate the winners and each one of the finalists who made it through braving the challenges. We, at Maruti Suzuki will continue to promote the passion of driving and racing in a technically competent and safe manner conforming to the highest international standards.”
Suresh Rana and PVS Murthy from Team Maruti Suzuki Motorsport drove home the coveted title in their Grand Vitara with a lead of over 09:22:17 hrs in the Xtreme cars category. Coming a close second were Sanjay Razdan and Karan Aukta in their Maruti Gypsy covering the distance in 10:13:14 hrs; followed by Sanjay Agarwal and Smitha N in their Grand Vitara covering the distance in 10:35:33 hrs; and Dharam Pal Jangra and Abhishek Sultan in their Vitara Brezza covering the distance in 10:45:41 hrs.
Making their debut in the Xtreme category, Vitara Brezza and S-Cross represented Team Maruti Suzuki Motorsport, proving their mettle by finishing 1st and 2nd respectively in the Car category.
Commenting on the win, Rana said, “Winning Raid De Himalaya is always rewarding and boosts my morale every year. This is my 11th win and yet the thrill and joy are just like my 1st. To break through in these extreme weather conditions, along with driver skills one also needs a tough vehicle supported by a reliable service crew and feel privileged to have access to all this as a part of Team Maruti Suzuki Motorsport.”
Abdul Wahid in his TVS RTR 450 FX won the Xtreme Bikes category covering the distance in 07:44:03 followed by R. Natraj in TVS RTR 450 covering the distance in 07:47:03 and RE Rajendra in TVS RTR 200FX covering the distance in 08:57:29.
In the Adventure Car category, Rajesh Chalana and Satish Gopalkrishnan took the lead driving Maruti Swift. Rakesh Choudhary & Raja Hisham in Maruti SX4 and Shubham Middha and Anshul Asati in Maruti SX4 stood at second and third position respectively. Whereas, in the Adventure SUV category, Subir Roy and Nirav Mehta stood first driving Maruti Gypsy. Shashwat Gupta & Chirag Thakur in Isuzu V Cross and Shailendra Singh and Dinky Varghese in Skoda Yeti stood at second and third position respectively.
The much-anticipated rally saw 106 motorsport rallyists participating across Xtreme Cars, Xtreme Bikes and Adventure categories, overcoming inhospitable temperatures and terrains covering a distance of Manali, Kaza, Pang, Kargil and Leh covering a distance of 1850 kms.
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