India’s longest motorsport extravaganza – The
12th Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm 2014, zooms off from New Delhi on February 22,
2014. APRC champion Gaurav Gill will take on home grown hero Suresh Rana at the
Desert Storm, considered to be India’s mini-Dakar. The rally will end at Jaipur
on March 1.
Bhat, Vice President Marketing, Maruti Suzuki said the Desert Storm will
traverse a 2,200 kms through the rough outback of Sardarshahar, Bikaner and
Jaisalmer to finally end at Jaipur. “It is a matter of pride for us that about
265 champion rallyists from the country and abroad will compete in the event.
The Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm has graduated from a single-category event in
2003 to an event running in four categories since 2011 – Xtreme, Moto, Ndure
and Xplore,” he said.
motorsport marathon is going to be a tough battle of nerves for Gaurav Gill of
Delhi and Suresh Rana of Team Maruti. The catch is that Rana has beaten Gill
twice earlier at the Desert Storm, both in 2012 and 2013. Both rallyists are
competing in Storm Xtreme, which is about driving high speed over the harsh,
treacherous terrain of the Thar desert.
proud after his win in the Asian Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) 2013, knows
he is in for a stiff fight against Rana. This is because Rana has won the
Desert Storm thrice – 2009, 2012 and 2013. He is also nine-time winner of
India’s iconic motorsport event, the Maruti Suzuki Raid De Himalaya. In both
2012 and 2013, Gill had to bow out of the Desert Storm in the first stage
up the competition at the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm 2014 is Karamjit Singh of
Malaysia APRC champion in 2001, 2002 and 2004. He is driving for Team Maruti at
the Desert Storm this year.
other major competitors in the Xtreme category (4X4) at the event are Amanpreet
Ahluwalia, Lohit Urs, Sunny Sidhu, Sandeep Sharma, Harpreet Bawa, Major
Amarinder Singh Brar, Lt Col Shakti Bajaj, Sarika Sehrawat, Amartej Pal Buwal
and Gaurav Chiripal.
Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm is one of the toughest and most popular rallies in
the country given the conditions, tough stages and spectacular terrain ranging
from desert stretches and vast salt flats to dirt tracks.
Desai, the President of Northern Motorsport, which organizes the Desert Storm,
said the 2014 edition will have 55 teams in Rally Xtreme (4X4) and 35 teams in
Rally Moto (Motorcycles). These two categories are based solely on fastest
addition, there will be 35 teams in Rally Ndure and 25 in Rally Xplore. Both
these categories follow the Time-Speed-Distance format. Rally Ndure is the more
challenging category here, since it follows the Xtreme route. The Xtreme
(4-wheelers), Endure and Xplore teams comprise two rallyists each – the driver
and the navigator.
a two-day rally over a decade ago, the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm has evolved
into a major motorsport event of massive proportions that now traverses the
Thar Desert and the entire span of the dune country.