6th "Maruti Suzuki Rally Desert Storm 2008" flagged off

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      6th "Maruti Suzuki Rally Desert Storm 2008" flagged off

      Mar 06, 2008
        6th "Maruti Suzuki Rally Desert Storm 2008" flagged off
       

      Separate Category for 4WD SUV introduced Innovative Night rallying to beat the heat Highest ever participation

      Maruti's annual rendezvous with the Thar desert is back. The 6th Maruti Suzuki Rally Desert Storm 2008 was flagged off by Mr. R.S. Kalsi, Chief General Manager (Sales), Maruti Suzuki India Limited from Uppal's Orchid, NH-8,Near IGI, today.

      The rally will proceed to Jaipur and then head deeper into Rajasthan for an action filled four days in the extreme sandy conditions. The multiple section rally traverses sand dunes, tarmac, gravel as well as dry wilderness to test the driver's skills and the machine's might.

      Mr RS Kalsi, Chief General Manager, Maruti Suzuki said,, "Maruti Suzuki has been actively promoting motorsport in the country and is determined to further popularise it among enthusiasts. Motorsport endear us to our customers. It demonstrates the superior performance and reliability of Maruti products."

      Maruti Suzuki Rally Desert Storm thoroughly tests the skills of the drivers and ruggedness of their cars and the bikes. Traversing over 2,200 kms over 4 days the rally will cover the most scenic and picturesque remote areas of Rajasthan. Heritage properties at Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Khimser & Jaipur serve as night halts. The rally will conclude in Jaipur on March 18.

      This year the rally is much tougher and exciting with the 16 fresh competitive sections. Interestingly, for the first time, one of the competitive section near Bikaner will be held at night.

      Highest participation

      This year the rally has attracted a overwhelming participation with 96 entries. Rally enthusiasts from as far as Arunachal Pradesh in the east to Goa in the west have entered to take on the challenges of the wilderness. This year's participants include doctors, engineers, businessmen and housewives across age groups. There are some `women teams' and `husband-wife' teams participating this year. Indian Army and Air Force have also sent their teams. Defending Champion, Khushwant Randhawa once again competes in his Maruti Suzuki Gypsy.

      For the first time, six teams with Maruti Suzuki employees compete in this year's rally in their Esteem, Swift and SX4s.

      The safety effort will be further supplemented by over 8 ambulances along the route. The rally will be monitored for its entire duration by over thirty radio-equipped cars. More than a hundred volunteers will ensure safe passage of the event, most of them are rally and motorsport veterans.

      This years Maruti Suzuki Rally Desert Storm has three categories :

      • PRO (for professionals) - 4WD & 2WD
      • NAV (for amateurs) - 4WD SUV
      • NAV (for amateurs) - Cars

      While the PRO (professional) category is open for both 2WD and 4WD cars, the NAV category will have a separate "4WD SUV" category for the first time. NAV category is open to all car owners irrespective of the brand. NAV contenders are usually entry level participants with little or no rallying experience.

      The Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm 2008 is being run in compliance with the International Sporting Code of the (International Automobile Federation) FIA and, the General Prescriptions of Motorsport Association of India (MAI).

      Maruti-Suzuki Rally Desert Storm is one of the toughest motorsport events in India. The route for the rallyists will take them through competitive and transport sections. Competitive section includes tough, off road terrain that has gravel, sand and rocks while transport section is run on normal inter-city roads. The picturesque Sambhar Lake is the location for the last competitive section.

      Maruti's endeavor to popularize motorsport spans from events for families that inculcate safe driving habits to event like Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm and Raid De Himalaya that are the ultimate tests of man and machine. Women's Power Drive, Treasure Hunt held across cities are popular amongst car owners. These are supplemented with events like Autocross that provide rallying thrills to professionals as well as amateurs.

      Maruti Suzuki Rally Desert Storm 2008 is being organized through Northern Motorsport.