Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya ends with many firsts this year

Leh (Himachal Pradesh), India, 11 October, 2013: The 15th edition of Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya came to an end adding many a new milestones to its history. A total of 153 cars and bikes had entered the Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya this year, the highest number of entries so far. Traditionally, only about a third of the participants were able to complete what is arguably the toughest cross country off road event, and only amongst two Indian competitions listed in the annual calander of FIA (Federation Internationale Automobile and FIM (Federation Internationale Motorcyclisme) Geneva, Switzerland.

Helmut F from Austria leading the X-Treme Bikes Category at Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya
Suresh Rana continues to push lead for fifth consecutive day in X-Treme cars category of Raid-de-Himalaya
Stephan R from Germany maintains the second position in X-Treme Bikes Category on final leg
Sanjay Agarwal clocked the second best timing during the final leg of Maruti Suzuki Raid-De-Himalaya
There were five competitive categories in the 15th edition of Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya. 
  • Raid X-Treme (4X4) & Raid X-Treme (Motorcycles and Quads), which are two all-out speed categories
  • Raid X-Treme (Alpine), a high-speed category for bikers competing for the first time
  • Raid Adventure Trial, which follows the Time-Speed-Distance format
  • Raid X-Treme (Scooters) has been introduced for the first time to enable scooters to take on the rough mountain terrain
Meanwhile, out of the 75 cars, bikes and scooters that had entered the Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Hiimalaya X-Treme category, only 29 finished the rally today – inclusive of all 5 participants in the newly created Scooters category. In the Adventure Trial category, out of the 62 cars that had been flagged off, a remarkable 41 made it through the final leg of the rally.

The six day mountain adventure began from Shimla and traversed the difficult stretches of Kaza and the Monastery Necklace, Khardung La and Wari La, and the temperamental Nubra Valley. Enroute, the Raid went through some of the highest motorable passes and human settlements in the world. These include Darcha (3360 m), Keylong (3440 m), Leh (3524 m), Kaza (3650 m), Dhankar (3894 m), Losar (4079 m), Rumtse (4300 m), Kunzum La (4551 m), Komik (4587 m) and Pang (4600 m). 

On the last and final day of the Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya, the competitors went through a loop of 225 kms around Leh, the district headquarter of Ladakh. The vehicles today covered Leh-Karu-Sakthi-Wari La-Thangar-Agham-Khalsar-North Pollu-Khardung La-South Pollu and back to Leh. The highlight of the day was when most vehicles returned after the last leg, no mean achievement given that in its 14-year history, the Raid has conquerd the Khardung La and the Wari La only once. It was a high speed mix track of tarmac and dirt and at times marked with heavy snowfalls and blizzards that have refused to yield way to motorsport enthusiasts from the country and abroad.

The final list of winners are:
  • X-Treme (4X4) – Suresh Rana/Ashwin Naik: 9.46.23 Hrs, Sanjay Agarwal/Shiva Prakash E 10.10.35, Harpreet Bawa/Praminder Thakur: 10.11.23 Hrs
  • X-Treme (Moto and Quads) – Helmut Frauwallner: 9.09.54 Hrs, Stephan Rausch: 10.08.05 Hrs, R Nataraj: 11.05.10 Hrs.
  • Adventure Trial – Jagmeet Gill/Chandan Sen: 0.03.46 Hrs, Subir Roy/Md. Mustafa: 0.03.53 Hrs, Kaushal Patel/Gaurav Patel: 0.04.01 Hrs.
  • X-Treme (Alpine) – Sajan Preet Singh, Baljeet Singh, Chirag Thakur
  • Scooters – Kunal Rao, Amit Belgaonkar 
Suresh Rana/ Ashwin Naik driving a Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara were crowned champions in the X-Treme 4W category. This was the ninth time for Suresh, and second time with Ashwin Naik as co-driver. Jagmeet Gill/Chandan Sen of Team Maruti driving a Maruti Suzuki Gypsy lifted the trophy in the Adventure Trial 4W category.

Suresh Rana and Ashwin Naik won the coveted crown of 15th Edition of Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Hiimalaya X-Treme 4X4 category
Helmut Frauwallner (Austria): Winner of the X-Treme Moto & Quad category and overall winner
Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya ends with many firsts this year Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya ends with many firsts this year Reviewed by raghav sarma on Sunday, October 13, 2013 Rating: 5

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