India’s leading passenger
vehicle manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) flagged off the 14th
edition of its popular Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm rally amidst much fanfare
from Great India Place Mall, Noida on April 3 2016. Covering a total of 2000
kms, the rally will steer through the sand dunes and rocky terrains of
Hanumanagarh, Bikaner, Jaisalmer and Jaipur in Rajasthan. The last leg of the
rally will conclude in the sandy expanse of Jodhpur on April 10 where the prize
distribution ceremony will be held.
This year 200 motorsport
enthusiasts are expected to be part of the rally, a highest ever participation
proving the growing popularity of motorsports in the country. The rallyists
come from various cities across India like Jaipur, Mumbai, Delhi, Gurgaon,
Chandigarh and Bangalore.
Vitara Brezza, the new
launched compact urban SUV from Maruti Suzuki will be seen cruising through the
rally route. This year’s Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm rally will witness
champions from past rallies like Suresh Rana, Sandeep Sharma, C S Santosh and
Karthick Maruthi. Bani Yadav and her navigator, Sukhbans Mann, past 3-time
winners of Desert Storm, will be one of the 6 women teams participating in the
rally this year. Winner of Desert Storm 2010 and 2015, Aabhishek Mishra, from
Jaipur will be seen driving the Maruti Suzuki Vitara and Karthick Maruthi will
be driving the Vitara Brezza..
Polaris India Pvt. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Polaris
Industries Inc. the world leader in Off-Road and All-Terrain Vehicles, is also all
set to participate in the race.
Last year, team Polaris India
conquered the 1st and the 2nd positions respectively in the T3 group of the
XTREME category. This year, ace rallyist, Tsering Lhapka will be driving the
power-packed Polaris RZR XP 4 1000 and Guhan Shetty would be on a Polaris RZR.
This time, three female rally enthusiasts - Ashima Kaushik, Khyati Mody and
Smitha Prasad would take on the Desert challenge on a Polaris RZR and would
demonstrate the increasing power of women in adventure sports.
Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm
rally will span over six-days and will be held in four categories - XTreme,
NDure, XPlore & Moto.
With an aim to make the
rallies even more exciting and fun, this year’s event will follow flexi-route
format in the Xplore category (Delhi to Jaisalmer (Xplore Dawn) and from
Jaisalmer to Jodhpur (Xplore Dusk). Both these legs will run for 3 days and
will run independent of each other. The objective of such a format is to
provide short length rally exposure and encourage bigger participation.
To enhance the excitement levels
a night leg of the rally covering 200 kms is planned for the second day in the
Bikaner to Jaisalmer section.
Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm
rally is one of the toughest motorsport rallies. It is organised annually by
the company in association with Northern Motorsports.
Sharing about the rally, RS
Kalsi Executive Director (M&S), Maruti Suzuki India said, “Maruti Suzuki
Desert Storm rally is a true test of endurance, it pushes man and machine to
extreme limits as they navigate across the barren arid and sandy dunes of
Rajasthan. Introduced in 2002, the rally fulfils the objective of providing the
thrill of off-road rallying to motorsport enthusiasts. While there is thrill
and adventure, the TSD format promotes safe driving habits amongst
participants. This year we have tried to take the experience one notch higher
by introducing flexi-format in Xplore category. We are confident that such
innovations bring value to the motorsport and lead to an increase in the
popularity of motorsports in India.”
Speaking about Polaris India’s
participation in Desert Storm 2016, Pankaj Dubey, Managing Director, Polaris
India Pvt. Ltd., noted “Off-Roading is in our DNA and we are thrilled to be a
part of this adventure once again to prove the endurance and power of our RZR
vehicles. We emerged victorious in our debut year at the event last time and we
are confident of a strong performance this year as well. Desert Storm is a test
of man and machine and it would be great to see the passion of the rallyists
who will be slugging it out in this desert adventure filled with hardship and
extremities. Only those who could raise the bar and display unmatched passion
and endurance will secure pole position in this adrenaline pumping event. My
best wishes to all the participants.”
Schedule for the 14th edition of Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm rally 2016:
2nd and 3rd April 2016 Scrutiny
3rd April 2016 Ceremonial Flag off from Noida Rally to travel from Noida to Hanumangarh
4th April 2016 Leg 1 Hanumangarh
to Bikaner with two competitive sections enroute.
5th and 6th April 2016 Leg
2 Bikaner to Jaisalmer
Toughest day of the rally. 187
kms of competition distance.
7th April 2016 Leg 3 Rally
starts in the wee morning hours at Jaisalmer.
Prize distribution for the
Xplore Dawn category
8th April 2016 Leg 4 Two
stages plus a night leg
Start of Xplore Dusk
9th April 2016 Leg
5 Rally travels to Jodhpur
10th April 2016 Prize
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