Covering a total distance of
217 km, the first leg of Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm 2018 culminated in Bikaner.
Braving the scorching heat of the Thar Desert, the participants battled it out
to grab the lead in their respective categories in the 16th edition of the
Known as the Camel Country,
the maximum temperature in Bikaner touches 53.5 °C in summers. The city is
famous for its Junagarh fort, Karni Mata temple and camel festival.
In the Xtreme category, Suresh
Rana from Team Maruti Suzuki Motorsport was seen leading the rally by
completing the leg first along with his navigator PVS Murthy in his Maruti
Suzuki Grand Vitara. Following their lead was Aabhishek Mishra and his
navigator V Venu Rameshkumar and Gaurav Chiripal with navigator, Srikanth Gowda
who finished third.
Below is the total time of the
top three participants from the NDure and Xplore category, at the end of Day 1:
1. Desert Raiders: Lt Col
Sukhjeet Singh Dhaliwal & Lenin J (Penalty - 00:21:00)
2. Desert Raiders: Gurpinder
Singh & Mrinmoy Saha (Penalty - 0:21:55)
3. Ruchit Jadhaw & Aditya
Garg (Penalty - 0:22:34)
1. Nipun Agrawal & Kabir
Mansharamani (Penalty - 00:09:07)
2. Desert Raiders: Vishal
Choudhary & Abhivek Singh Godara (Penalty - 01:13:12)
3. Surendra Gopu & Hardeep
Singh (Penalty - 01:30:04)
Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm
2018 will now move towards Jaisalmer for the second leg of the rally.
failure forces Aishwarya Pissay to retire from Desert Storm
A malfunctioning headlight
ended National women’s racing and rally champion Aishwarya Pissay’s campaign in
the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm as she was docked a penalty of 100 hours,
forcing her to retire from the week-long cross-country rally.
Bengaluru-based 22-year old
Aishwarya, representing TVS Racing team, was among 11 bikers who retired in
Leg-1 which comprised two Special Stages totaling about 80 Kms.
MotoSports Team Rally starts with a win on day 1
Hero Motosports Team Rally
rider, C S Santosh made a solid start in the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm 2018 by
closing the day one on 1st position.
Santosh, who opened the first
special section, made a blazing run to complete the 86.5 km special in a good
time of 01 h 10 min to finish the leg 1 of the rally in the lead. Santosh made
good of the much improved bike as well his own experience to fight off the
competition from TVS Factory debutant, Santolino Lorenzo and Aaron Mar, another
international debutant riding for Angata Racing.
The first day’s leg was split
into two special stages of 41 km and 46 km respectively, with first special
offering a perfect warm up to the riders on hard pack surface and the second
special taking the challenge a notch higher with a mix of hard pack and sandy
patches along with a fair bit of night riding thrown in the mix to make it more
interesting for the riders.
The second leg will task the
riders with 496 km run stage comprising of 136 kms of special stages, all in
desert riding conditions, from Bikaner to Jaisalmer.
Provisional Results after Leg
1. C S Santosh Hero MotoSports Team Rally 01h 10m 44s
2. Aaron Mare Angata Racing +6m 47s
3. Sanjay Kumar Angata Racing +9m 55s
4. Tanveer Abdul Wahid TV Racing +17m 06s
5. R Nataraj TVS Racing +19m
performance by TVS racers on Day 1
The first leg kicked off on
March 19, 2018 in the scorching heat of the Thar Desert. The leg began at 3 P.M. and concluded close
to midnight with the teams covering a stretch of 217 kilometers (including
selective sections and transport) around the desert terrains of Bikaner.
At the end of leg 1, TVS
Racing’s Rajendra RE is leading in the Group B (upto 250cc category) with Imran
Pasha following closely at the second position.
In the Group A (upto 450cc category) TVS Racing’s Abdul Wahid Tanveer
stands at P4 (overall) with R Nataraj at P5 and Sherco TVS Factory Rally Team’s
Lorenzo Santolino at P8.
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