Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Dare 2017 – Report

After surfing the sand at Rajasthan for the Desert Storm earlier this year, the second grand event by Maruti Suzuki Motorsports for 2017, the Dakshin Dare, was flagged off at Orion Mall, Bangalore last Sunday (16th July, 2017).

Powered by Mobil1, the ninth edition of the event saw over 180 rallyists gearing up and setting off to Chitradurga on Monday (Day 1), thus beginning the Leg 1 of the 2200 km long rally that for the first time finishes in Pune (on July 21).

While the southern flora and the western ghats always keep the drivers and riders on edge, the monsoon that’s upon us add a cherry of adrenaline on top them all, making this one of the most scenic rallies in the country. With the new route this edition, we are eager to see if the champions would be able to defend their title. The three categories Dakshin Dare is divided into are, Endurance, Ultimate Car and Ultimate Bike.

Mr. Anand Prakash, Commercial Business Head – South, Maruti Suzuki India, said “It’s a great feeling to be welcomed each year with such an encouraging response. Moving on from introduction of new test tracks last year, we have introduced another new element by taking the rally beyond its boundaries.”

Official Lubricant Partner, Mobil1 continues its support through the 2017 rallies of Maruti Suzuki Motorsports (including Desert Storm, Dakshin Dare and Raid de Himalaya), and was present at the flag-off ceremony with a team of officials. Mobil is also the Official Motor Oil of NASCAR, the Official Motor Oil of Formula Drift and the Official Motor Oil of the Sports Car Club of America.

The Day 1 of the Dakshin Dare 2017 between Bangalore and Chitradurga, covering a route of 463 km, saw Samrat Yadav and S N Nizami completing the stage in just 2:45:26 Hours thereby making the lead in the Ultimate category. Sandeep Sharma and Karan Arya from Team Maruti finished second with a margin of just over a minute. Suresh Rana and Ashwin Naik (also from Team Maruti) came third. The latter were the winners of the 2016 Dakshin Dare.

The Ultimate bikes class, saw Sanjay Kumar leading the first stage with a time of 1:50:0.8 Hours. Right behind him was R Nataraj, who missed the glory by 41.2 seconds. Behind Natraj was Abdul Wahid. Subir Roy and Nirav Mehta led the Endurance category.

Day 2 was the day of the immensely challenging Super Special Stage (SSS) set in Chitradurga. The first of the two SSS of 2017 Dakshin Dare had a 2 kilometre-long dirt track that’s close to the city for maximum spectatorship. Samrat Yadav and S N Nizami maintained their lead by clocking out in 04:55:04 Hours. Their Gypsy was tailed by Rana’s Vitara at the finish, with a gap of a little over 3 minutes. Sandeep Sharma and Karan Arya’s Gypsy was third in the Ultimate category.

R Nataraj emerged leader in the Ultimate Bikes category of Day 2, by clocking 03:10:41 Hours, leaving Abdul Wajid behind by just 42 seconds. Sanjay Kumar fell to the third from Day 1 lead, by being 7 seconds behind Abdul.

19th July was Day 3 of the 2017 Dakshin Dare, which began at Aimangala and moved towards Belgaum. The 495 km leg was conquered by Rana and Naik in 06:59:02 Hours. The heavy rains slipped Samrat Yadav and S N Nizami, the leaders of Day 1 and 2, down the rocky terrain, to the second position of the Ultimate Cars category on Day 3. Sandeep Sharma and Karan Arya took 07:05:46 Hours and thereby claimed the third position.

Suresh Rana said, “The heavy downpour of rain made the terrain more challenging, but it didn’t go against us. We took it up as a challenge and closed it with top spot while competition was cut-throat.”

The Ultimate Bikes category on Day 3 had the top three spots same as Day 2, with R Natraj, Abdul Wahid and Sanjay Kumar finishing at 04:29:30 Hours, 04:31:26 Hours and 04:35:57 Hours respectively.

Entering Maharashtra for the first time in the history of Dakshin Dare, Day 4 set the course across the border towards Kolhapur, making the event not a literal ‘Dakshin’ Dare anymore. To top the challenge, this was where the second and final Super Special Stage (SSS) was set, in the city zone. Yet, the 329 km course and the thundering showers could not change the top positions of the Ultimate Cars as well as the Ultimate Bikes categories. Rana and Naik clocked 07:21:13 Hours, and R Nataraj clocked 04:49:25 Hours. The second and third positions were behind by the usual margins.

R Nataraj said, “The cloudy weather turned into a heavy downpour in no time. It is more challenging for two-wheelers particularly since maintaining balance is a task in the slush and in water-clogged areas. The test tracks (Super Special Stage) were equally challenging as the entire stretch was completely slushy but was the enthusiasm of the local spectators who were thrilled to experience motorsports in their city premise kept us going.”

The 5th and last day of the 2017 Dakshin Dare came to a climax today at Pune, with the total odo-reading of the vehicles crossing 2,000 km. There was no change in the top three positions again! Suresh Rana and Ashwin Naik clocked 10:11:26 Hours, and R Natraj did it in 6:12:38, thus concluding the gruelling edition of the Dakshin Dare by Maruti Suzuki Motorsports and Mobil1.

Stay connected with us for the price distribution coverage later today, with live quotes from the winners on our Social Media channels.