|The 13th Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalayas, one of the most exciting motorsport events in India, concluded its journey after a long, tough and gruelling ride through the mighty Western Himalayas today. The rally covered a distance of 2000 kms over six days encompassing six legs which traversed through the most undulating terrains of the mighty Western Himalayas. The winners were awarded amidst an enthusiastic crowd of notable dignitaries and motorsport enthusiasts. Mr Omar Abdullah, Honourable chief minister, Jammu and Kashmir and senior members from Maruti Suzuki India Limited felicitated the winning teams.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Shashank Srivastava, Chief General Manager, Marketing, Maruti Suzuki, said, "We are delighted to see the enthusiasts back with more energy and fervor that drove them through the perilous journey in the Himalayas. Maruti Suzuki has and will continue to support further motorsport events in the future to provide the ever growing population of such enthusiasts a greater platform to realize their drive and spirit to tackle further unseen challenges."
The high point of this edition of Maruti Suzuki Raid de Himalaya 2011 was customization of rally route in line with experience and expectations of the motorsports enthusiasts. For the first time, the Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya operated on two separate routes to engage with two different types of motorsports enthusiasts.
Explaining the success of this year's double-route format and encouraging the participants, Mr. Shashank Srivastava, Chief General Manager, Marketing, Maruti Suzuki, said, "The overwhelming response from motorsports enthusiasts across the country to our various motorsports initiatives like Maruti Suzuki Raid- de-Himalaya, Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm, Dakshin Dare, Auto Cross etc. encouraged us to introduce the double-route format this year. This modification is in line with the expectations of motorsports enthusiasts especially amateurs, who always look for a higher level of exciting opportunities."
He added, "Motorsports offer us an excellent opportunity to gauge the response of our vehicles under extreme peak performance conditions. Our engineers take home valuable feedback from the rallies and pass on the learnings to the future model."
This year, the X-treme and Adventure category competed on two separate treacherous and challenging routes initially, but met at Rangdum, valley situated 3,657 m (11,998 ft) above the sea level, in the isolated Suru valley in Ladakh region. After Rangdum the two category participants continued together via Penzi-La till the final stop at Srinagar, J&K.
The route for the X-treme Category started off from Shimla on Oct 11th and traversed the districts of Manali and Kullu to halt at Manali. From Manali, the motorists proceeded through the mighty Rohtang Pass to halt at Leh on October 12. Next day, the raid passed through Leh including the 18,300-foot Khardung-La, the highest Motorable road in the world .The motorcyclists too followed this tough Alpine route and concluded their journey at Leh.
The route for the Adventure Trial also started from Shimla and then passed through Mandi, Kullu, Kangra, Chamba, and entered Jammu and Kashmir through Bhaderwah, Kishtwar, Kokernag and Ananatnag. From here it went to Kargil, Rangdum, Dras, Kargil, Zozi-La and culminated in Srinagar on October 16.
This year the rally covered a distance of 2000 kms in 6 legs spread over 6 days which make its participants undertake a treacherous route through various crests & troughs embedded in the great western Himalayan ranges.
X-treme (4WD – Modified/T1): 1) Suresh Rana and Ashwin Naik in Maruti Suzuki Gypsy – 12.41.22 hrs, 2) Harpreet Singh Bawa/Virendra Kashyap in Maruti Suzuki Gypsy 12.47.44 hrs. 3) Lt. Col Shakti Bajaj/Maj BN in Prakash Maruti Suzuki Gypsy - 12.48.20 hrs.
X-treme (4WD – Stock/T2): 1) Karan Jung/Vikram Sharma in Maruti Suzuki Gypsy – 13.07.59 hrs, 2) Lt. Col Subodh Verma/Maj Kushalendra in Maruti Suzuki Gypsy 13.25.36 hrs. 3) Parvinder Singh/ Paritosh Kohak in Maruti Suzuki Gypsy – 13.45.38 hrs.
X-treme (Bikes): 1) Helmut Frauwallner – 10.28.33 hrs. 2) Ashish Moudgill - 10.39.47 hrs 3) Lehner Gottfried – 11.50.59 hrs
Adventure Trial (SUV): 1) Umesh Raheja/Yogesh Raheja in Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara – 5.03 min, 2) Amol Satoskar/M K Mutafa – 13.49 min, 3) Girija Shankar Joshy/Chandra Mouli – 16.00 min
Adventure Trial (Car - Experts): 1) Pratap Thakur/Amit Gosain in Maruti Suzuki SX4 – 27.39 min 2) Rajesh Chalana/ Rakesh Diwan in Maruti Suzuki SX4 – 35.47 min
Participation from across the country
This year's rally witnessed an impressive participation from across the country. There were over 115 participants from the Northern States, over 33 participants from Southern States, similarly over 40 enthusiastic participants from western India and 12 from Eastern India. These motorsport enthusiasts competed across three categories: X-treme 4-wheelers (46 teams), X-treme 2-wheelers (35 teams) (both for professional motorsport enthusiasts), and 76 enthusiast teams in the Adventure Trial category for amateurs.
In addition to increasing popularity of Maruti Suzuki Raid De Himalaya in India, there were over six bikers from Austria and a team from Belgium participating in the rally. In fact, the Austrian biking team, participating for the first time this year, holds the leading position in extreme bikes category .
Maruti Suzuki & Motorsports
As an automobile leader, Maruti Suzuki has been promoting motor sports since its inception in the 1980s. To popularize action sport, the Maruti Suzuki motorsport calendar is packed with exciting motoring events.
Be it for a motorsport enthusiast, an amateur or a professional and irrespective of gender, there are events that offer the thrill and joy of motorsport to one and all.
The annual calendar of events includes Autocross, Treasure Hunt and professional rallies including Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya, Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm and Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Dare. These events provide rallying thrills as well as promote safe driving habits.
For more information, please visit: http://www.raid-de-himalaya.com/