19th Maruti Suzuki Raid De Himalaya which has come to an end in Leh, saw participants traverse for a week over high altitudes, over the 2,000 km long rally. The participants suffered several mechanical setbacks and trials along the grueling route but tackled the X-treme category with a sense of sportiness and adventure. The terrain is so tough that only 23 finished in the X-treme category.
2017 Raid travelled through the terrains of Kaza, Sarchu, Pang, Leh, Kargil and Pensi La and it was Suresh Rana and PVS Murthy who claimed the top spot in the X-treme car category. Driving for Team Maruti Suzuki, this was Rana’s 11th title this year with a lead of over 09:22:17 hrs. In second position were Sanjay Razdan and Karan Aukta in a Maruti Gypsy covering the distance in 10:13:14 hrs and in third spot were Sanjay Agarwal and Smitha N in a Vitara covering the distance in 10:45:41 hrs.
Maruti Suzuki Raid De Himalayas is an arduous and challenging motorsport rally. The 19th edition was the toughest of them all with participants having to face not only rugged terrains and high altitudes but also extreme temperatures and it was noted that less than 50% were able to reach the finish line.
In the Xtreme Bike category, Abdul Wahid on his TVS RTR 450FX covered the distance in 07:44:03. R. Natraj came in second riding his TVS RTR 450 and covering the distance in 07:47:03 followed by R E Rajendra on a TVS RTR 200FX in 08:57:29.
In the Adventure Car category, Rajesh Chalana along with his partner Satish Gopalkrishnan was in first spot driving a Maruti Swift. They were followed in second place by Rakesh Choudhary and Raja Hisham in a Maruti SX4 and in third place was Shubham Middha and Anshul Asati in Maruti SX4. In the Adventure SUV category, Subir Roy and Nirav Mehta in a Maruti Gypsy were in first position followed closely by Shashwat Gupta and Chirag Thakur in Isuzu V Cross and in third spot were Shailendra Singh and Dinky Varghese in a Skoda Yeti.
The rally winds through approximately 3,000 km of rocky, serpentine roads, and participants often face temperatures as low as -10 C! At some points, cars negotiate sharp bends at altitudes touching 5,000+ metres above sea level. It is for good reason therefore that Raid de Himalaya is rated amongst the top 10 toughest rallies in the world and given its international standards, sees participation from the world over.
Raid’s gruelling conditions are known to test the endurance of both man and machine as teams steer through some of the world’s highest and toughest motorable roads passing through Manali, Kaza, Sarchu, and Leh in Himachal Pradesh. With Mobil1 under the hood, drivers competing at Raid De Himalaya can rely on the world’s leading synthetic engine oil to deliver exceptional engine performance and protection – even under such extreme conditions.