It’s not just your driving and
riding skills that matter, it’s also your vehicle’s sturdiness to withstand the
challenges thrown at it by an inhospitable terrain that really gets you
through. At the end Lady Luck too needs to smile at you, or else you are really
out of contention. Such was the case with Jaipur’s Abhishek Mishra who was
leading the race in the first four days in his Suzuki Vitara. Unfortunately on the fifth day Mishra along
with his navigator PV Srinivas Murthi were eliminated from the game due to
technical issue in their vehicle.
The crown finally had to
rest on Suresh Rana, a veteran when it
comes to winning races of this nature. The 14th edition of Maruti Suzuki Desert
Storm rally ended in the Blue City of Jodhpur with Team Maruti Suresh Rana and
his navigator Ashwin Naik garnering the first position followed by Amanpreet
Ahluwalia and Virendra Kashyap. At the third position stood Niju Padia and his
navigator Nirav Mehta.
Jodhpur is referred to as the
Blue City because of its blue rooftops, unlike Jaipur which is known as the
“Pink city” because of its pink coloured
In the bike category,
motorcycle rallyist C. S Satosh won the Desert Storm. Santosh, who has
participated in some of the toughest races around the globe like the gruelling
Dakar rally, fought hard to win this race, which is incidentally referred to
the “Mini Dakar” race.
This year the rally saw 200
motoring enthusiasts in about 106 teams in their modified cross country
vehicles, covering 2100 kms distance in seven days. The last leg of the rally,
leg 5, ended successfully in Jodhpur. In the last six days the motorists
encountered various difficulties and challenges, driving on the treacherous and
sandy terrains of the Thar Desert.
In the XTreme bike category,
C.S Santosh bagged the top slot at 11:19:28 Hrs followed by Aravind KP at
11:28:06 Hrs. At the third position stood R Nataraj at 12:35:30 Hrs.
Speaking at the end of 5th
day, Suresh Rana driving a Grand Vitara and more popularly known as the Manali
man, nine times winner of Raid De Himalaya said, “To grab the leading position
on the 5th day is a huge responsibility and the experience is both humbling and
exhilarating. With one more day to go, both the temperature and the survival
spirit of the competitors are soaring. We are going to put all our effort in
maintaining our lead by a huge margin. May the best team win.”
In NDurecategory motorists
travelled the same distance as XTreme teams but in the Time Speed Distance
format in the Leg2 of the event. SK Ajgar Ali continues to hold the lead with
his navigator MK Mohammed Musthafa with a day end penalty of 00:22:21 Hrs
followed by Vishnu Singh and his navigator Adhithya Anthony at 00:41:19.
Jagmeet Gill and his navigator Chandan Sen stood third with a day end penalty
of 00:57:04 Hrs.
The provisional results for
Xplore category had Pratap and his navigator T Nagarajan at the top at 00:01:36
Hrs, with Rajesh Chalana and Arindam Ghosh at the second position at 00:02:56
Hrs. At the third position stood Karthick Maruthi with his navigator S.Sankar
Anand at 00:03:20 Hrs.
Speaking at the Prize
Distribution ceremony, R.S Kalsi, Executive Director, Marketing & Sales,
Maruti Suzuki India Limited said, “We are overwhelmed to see the response we
received from motorsports enthusiasts. This year has been exhilarating to
track, to witness the passion and dedication of the rallyists even against the
toughest conditions. I congratulate each and every participant who participated
in this year’s Desert Storm and emerged as true fighters. Desert Storm is the
perfect example of the intense bond between the rallyists and his vehicles. ”
On winning the champions
trophy in the Xtreme category, Rana said, “This was one of my toughest
motorsport rally. The scorching heat of the desert, new rally routes added to
the difficulties. However, this only encourages me to participate the next
year. Can’t wait to be back again.”
Cherishing yet another win, C
S Santosh said, “I couldn’t be happier. I feel at home when I am rallying, and
the difficult terrains of Desert are an added joy to conquer. This has been an
extremely challenging and satisfying year so far. I would work hard to continue
this winning streak.”
In the NDure category,
rallyist SK Ajgar Ali & MK Mohammed Musthfa bagged the top slot at 00:23:12
Hrs followed by Vishnu Singh & Adhithya Anthony at 00:42:13 Hrs Hrs. At the
third position stands Jagmeet Gill & Chandan Sen at 00:58:06 Hrs.
In the Xplore category, Pratap
and his navigator T Nagarajan won the first prize with a total penalty of 00:02:01
Hrs, followed by Rajesh Chalana & Arindam Ghosh with a penalty of 00:03:20
Hrs and Karthick Maruthi & S.Sankar Anand at the third position with a
penalty of 00:03:20 Hrs. The final winners were announced during the closing
ceremony held in Welcome ITC, Jodhpur on April 10, 2016.
XTreme Cars –
1. Suresh Rana &AshwinNaik- 12:52:03 Hrs
2. Amanpreet Ahluwalia &VirenderKashyap- 14:02:11 Hrs
3. Niju Padia & Nirav Mehta – 14:05:41
1. SK Ajgar Ali &MK Mohammed Musthafa - 00:23:12 Hrs
2. Vishnu Singh &Adithya Anthony - 00:42:13 Hrs
3. Jagmeet Gill and Chandan Sen- 00:58:06 Hrs.
1. Pratap & T Nagarajan - 00:02:01 Hrs
2. Rajesh Chalana & Arindam Ghosh - 00:03:20 Hrs
3. Karthick Maruthi & S.Sankar Anand - 00:03:39 Hrs.
1. C.S Santosh - 11:19:28 Hrs
2. Aravind KP - 11:28:06 Hrs
3. R Nataraj - 12:35:30 Hrs.
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