Bollywood showman Sohail Khan, who competed in Raid Adventure, said the 16th Maruti
Suzuki Raid De Himalaya was one of the best, most beautiful experiences of his life.
“The Raid is a life-changer. You learn at every turn. Mujhe rally ka keeda lag gaya
hai (I am bitten by the rally bug). I now want to be part of Rally Xtreme at the
Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm, and definitely also the Raid next year,” he said.
Mr Manohar Bhat, Vice-President (Marketing) Maruti Suzuki, said that after heavy
snowfall at Kunzum La suspended Day Four of the rally, there were fears about whether
the Raid would complete its marathon run this year. “Fortunately, we encountered
fine weather at Baralacha La and Nakee La, the formidable mountain passes, and the
16th Maruti Suzuki Raid De Himalaya was able to finish successfully,” said Mr Bhat.
Buwal topped Raid Xtreme (4X4) with a time score of 10.35.41 hours. Capt Ajay Vir
Singh Gill lost the top position to Buwal by under two minutes, and ranked second
with a time-score of 10.36.51 hours. Karan Jung of Sitarganj in Uttarakhand is third
in this category with a time-score of 10.50.10 hours. Both Capt Gill and Jung were
driving Maruti Gypsy.
Jagmeet Gill of Chandigarh, with navigator Chandan Sen, has scored a hat-trick by
standing first-overall in Raid Adventure, driving a Maruti Gypsy. Jagmeet has won
his three Raid Adventure titles driving the same Gypsy. His total penalty this year
is 3.20 minutes. Second in Raid Adventure is Subir Roy of Kolkata with navigator
Neerav Mehta, with total penalty of 3.40 minutes, also driving a Maruti Gypsy. Third
is Ashish Budhia of Ranchi with navigator Arindam Ghosh, at total penalty of 4.53
In Raid Adventure (cars category), Rajesh Chalana of Sriganganagar with navigator
Yogesh Gupta of Kolkata is first, driving a Maruti Swift. Chalana was also the defending
champion in this category.
In Raid Xtreme (Motorcycles), Nataraj R of Bangalore, riding a TVS RTR 450, is first
with a time-score of 9.50 hours. Suresh Babu of Delhi, riding a Suzuki RMX 450 Z,
is second with a time-score of 10.29.01 hours. Sourabh Handa of Ludhiana, riding
a KTM Duke 390, is third with a time-score of 10.49.28 hours. Nick Sarao, an NRI
from Canada riding a WR 450, ranked fourth with a time-score of 11.05.09 hours.
Sandeep Matharu of Chandigarh, riding a Bajaj Pulsar 200, ranked fifth with a time-score
of 11.15.30 hours.
Amartej Buwal, a diehard rallyist who started racing in Raid Xtreme (4X4) in 2009,
ranked third overall the same year. “I always had my gaze fixed on the top prize
at the Raid. After 2009, I could not finish the Raid because of engine failure or
other technical faults. In all these years, this is only the second Raid that I
have been able to complete,” he said.
Buwal admitted that with Suresh Rana and Abhishek Mishra crashing out of the Raid
on the fifth day, he knew his time had come. “From Day One, I was gunning for the
top spot, but not exorbitantly. I am happy that my perseverance paid off,” he said.
The 16th Maruti Suzuki Raid De Himalaya started with 41 teams in Raid Xtreme (4X4),
of which only 19 teams managed to successfully finish the rally. In Raid Xtreme
(Motorcycles), 27 competitors took the start, and dropped to 15 at the end of the
rally. In Raid Adventure, 50 teams took the start on Day One, of which only 39 teams
managed to make it to the finish line in Manali.
The Maruti Suzuki Raid De Himalaya is organized by Himalayan Motorsport, the leading
motorsport club of the country. President of Himalayan Motorsport Vijay Parmar said
that the number of drop-outs would have been higher if heavy snowfall at Kunzum
La had not stalled Day Four of the Raid. “The competitive leg from Losar to Gramfu
on the fourth day was among the toughest legs of the rally. If this leg had been
held successfully, there would have been several drop-outs that day,” he said.
Raid Xtreme (4X4): Amartej Buwal (10.35.41), Capt Ajay Vir Singh
Gill (10.36.51), Karan Jung (10.50.10)
Raid Adventure: Jagmeet Gill/Chandan Sen (3.20 minutes), Subir
Roy/Neerav Mehta (3.40 minutes), Ashish Budhia/Arindam Ghosh (4.53 minutes)
Raid Xtreme (Motorcycles): Nataraj R (9.50), Suresh Babu (10.29.01),
Sourabh Handa (10.49.28), Nick Sarao (11.05.09), Sandeep Matharu (11.15.30)
About Maruti Suzuki and Motorsport:
Be it a motorsport enthusiast, an amateur or
a professional, Maruti Suzuki creates opportunities for all to experience the thrill
and joy of motorsport. The Maruti Suzuki motorsport calendar is packed with exciting
motoring events. For families, there are events like Women’s Rally and Treasure
Hunt throughout the year, across cities. The Maruti Suzuki Autocross brings action
for amateurs and professionals, together. But what makes the Maruti Suzuki motorsport
calendar an attraction in India (and internationally too), are Maruti-Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya,
Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm and Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Dare.
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