Defending champion Suresh Rana
was going strong in the Xtreme category at the end of the first day of the 16th
Maruti Suzuki Raid De Himalaya rally. Bollywood actor Sohail Khan, who is also
the brother of Salman Khan, was among the top ten competitors in Raid Adventure
on Day One of the 16th Maruti Suzuki Raid De Himalaya, which reached Manali on
According to a press release, Raid
officials were surprised by the relatively good performance of Sohail Khan.
Accompanied by champion navigator Rahul Sancheti of Pune, Sohail Khan excelled
in the Time-Speed-Distance format of Raid Adventure, and scored well.
performed better than most competitors in Corkscrew, the prologue to the Raid
for rallyists driving 4X4 SUVs held early on the morning of Oct 4. But while manoeuvring the challenging track for Corkscrew, Sohail
rushed on alone to conquer a particularly difficult turn
and left his navigator behind,
incurring a penalty of 20 seconds.
“Just because I am teaming with one of the
best navigators of the country does not mean we are going to be winning all the
way. We have tried to do well on the first day of the rally, and hope to make
up on the penalty we incurred at Corkscrew,” he stated after the incident.
Manohar Bhat, Vice President
(Marketing) of Maruti Suzuki said the level of preparation among rallyists in
both Raid Xtreme and Raid Adventure was remarkable. He said on Day One, Raid
Xtreme covered 326 kilometres and had two competitive stages, while Raid
Adventure covered 317 kilometres. In both categories, rallyists combined speed
with the essential safety precautions.
“Out of the 79 teams that took
a start in Rally Xtreme, 76 successfully made it to the end of the leg on Day
One," said Bhat.
The Raid had its own share of
drama on Day 1 of the race. Pramod Joshua, a Motocross champion from Bangalore
went down the mountain on his bike. Fortunately, he was caught in a tree and
escaped unhurt. Joshua was riding for Team TVS, and had to quit the rally.
Nishant Pal Yadav and Chirag
Thakur of Team Tusker, Delhi, had to quit Raid Xtreme after their vehicle
rolled over. Baljeet Singh of Chandigarh
sustained a minor injury after falling from his bike, and had to quit the Raid
Major Dankar and Major Ravi
Dhillon of Team Army had to quit the event after a radiator bust in their vehicle.
Amongst the bikers, Nick Sarao
and Suresh Babu were among the fastest on the first day. At the time of going
to press, the competitors were on the way to Manali for the end of the leg on
A vehicle in action on Day 1 of the rally
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