|The six-day long Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm 2009 successfully ended on Sunday with Himachal lad, Suresh Rana in his Maruti Suzuki Gypsy winning in the Xtreme category. Winners in other categories include Umesh Raheja from Gurgaon in a Maruti Suzuki Swift (in Xplore category), Gaurav Chirpal from Noida in a Suzuki Grand Vitara (in Ndure category) and Mohanlal Sharma (Biker).
Mr. Mayank Pareek, Executive Officer (Marketing and Sales) at Maruti Suzuki India Limited, gave away the prizes at a glittering ceremony at Udaipur on Sunday evening.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Pareek said, “Maruti Suzuki is confident that the high participation levels at this year’s motor sports events will draw many enthusiastic youngsters towards motorsports. Youngsters can find many avenues at Maruti Suzuki’s various motorsports initiatives that run all through the year at multiple locations.”
Maruti Suzuki has pioneered in promoting motorsports in India and has been associated with events such as Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya and Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm for close to a decade now.
In this year’s Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm event, last year’s winner, Sunny Sidhu from Chandigarh, in a Maruti Suzuki Gypsy came in second in the Xtreme category, despite leading in the initial stages. The other runners-up were Ajgar Ali from Kolkata driving a Maruti Suzuki Esteem (Xplore), Jagmeet Gill also from Chandigarh on a Maruti Suzuki Gypsy (Ndure) and Raj S. Rathore (Biker).
Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm, since its inception, has always been one of the most exciting rallies. This time, challenges were new and for the first time, the rally ventured beyond the boundaries of Rajasthan and into uncharted areas of the Kutch region of Gujarat. This year saw record participation and it was overwhelming to see the zest of women participants.
The route took 170 rallyists through competitive and transport sections. The competitive sections included tough, off-road terrain that had gravel, sand and rocks, while the transport section was run on inter-city state highways and connecting roads.
After a ceremonial flag-off from New Delhi, the 6 day rally started from Shahpur near Manesar and passed through various challenging stages including a marshy stretch on the Aravalli in the outskirts of Jaipur, treacherous mud tracks in Bikaner, the sandy desert in Jaisalmer, and of course, hard lake beds in the Kutch area of Gujarat.
This was the first time when any motorsports event in India was held at Adesar, which connects the Small Rann to the Great Rann of Kutch in Gujarat.
The Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm Rally was divided into three categories Xtreme, Xplore and Ndure for cars and a separate category for the bikers. The 7th Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm 2009 ran a mix of around 12 Special Stages to test the participants’ driving skills under various conditions. The 12 stages were:
|The Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm 2009 participants included doctors, engineers, businessmen and homemakers across age groups. There were also a few all-women teams and husband-wife teams.
Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm 2009 was organized in partnership with Northern Motorsport, for the seventh year in the running. Northern Motorsport is one of the leading motorsport organization in India and organizes a range of motorsport events for Maruti Suzuki including Auto-Cross, Rally of the North etc. With a team of well-known automotive enthusiasts, Maruti Suzuki and Northern Motorsport together are exploring the unexplored terrains of motorsports in India.