Report by OD bureau, Leh: The 14th Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya, one of the most exciting motorsport events in India, culminated yesterday at Leh after one week of exhilarating rallying. Suresh Rana & Parminder Thakur were adjudged the winners of the X-treme 4W category and C.S. Santosh was declared as the winner of the Xtreme 2W category. K. Prasad & M. Chandrashekhar were declared the winners in the Adventure 4W category. The winners were facilitated by Chief Guest Lt. Gen Ranjan Bakhshi GoC, (14 Corps), Mr. S.N. Burman, Vice President, Maruti Suzuki in the presence of Mr. Manjeev Bhalla from Himalayan Motorsport Association at the prize distribution ceremony.
In all, 17 teams in X-treme 4W category, 40 teams in 4W Adventure category and 20 bikers could reach the final leg that concluded at Leh today.
On the occasion, Mr Mayank Pareek, Chief Operating Officer, Marketing & Sales, Maruti Suzuki, said “My heartiest congratulations to the winners of the 14th Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya who have completed the tough and perilous journey showing great acumen, stamina and dexterity. This year, we had undertaken a number of extra safety measures like putting in service a helicopter to ensure timely help to rallyists in case of emergencies. Maruti Suzuki will continue to further support motorsport events in the future to provide the ever growing population of such enthusiasts the right platform to take on challenges of motorsport and to enjoy it.”
This year’s Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya offered the ultimate adrenaline rush to around 130 teams with over 200 participants in the four wheeler and two wheeler categories who braved the inhospitable terrains and weather conditions of the Himalayas to compete for the top prize. The tough route this year traversed through some of the highest motorable passes and human settlements in the world. These included Darcha (3360 mts), Keylong (3440 mts), Leh (3524 mts), Kaza (3650 mts), Dhanka (3894 mts), Losar (4079 mts), Rumtse (4300 mts), Kunzum La (4551 mts), Komik (4587 mts), Pang (4600 mts) and Wari La (5313 mts).
This year the rally covered a distance of 1800 kms in 6 legs spread over 6 days undertaking a treacherous route through various crests & troughs embedded in the great Himalayan ranges.