On Day 2 of the Desert Storm 2019, defending champion, Abhishek Mishra gave a glimpse of his immense skill and expertise, as he fought through the tough terrains and blazing conditions to climb up to take lead after SS4 (Special Stage 4) of the Desert Storm. While French rider, Adrian Metge of the TVS Racing Team was the undoubted leader in the Moto Category, with a total time of 02:03:34 hours after SS1 and 2 on Wednesday and SS4 on Thursday.
The 41 km SS1 for the Moto and Extreme categories started from the Noorsar village in Bikaner, while the 46-km SS 2 took off from the Rajasar village. The Extreme drivers even took part in the night stage, which is a 41 km stretch starting from the Kelan village. India’s star biker CS Santosh of Hero MotoSports was trailing behind Adrian, with a total time of 02:11:20, while Abdul Wahid Tanveer of TVS Racing was also trying to catch with the leaders. Aishwarya Pissay, also from the TVS Racing Team, is on the 23rd position, after a rough start yesterday.
As many as 8 participants in the Moto category and 4 participants in the Xtreme category gave up to the fury of the desert, as they failed to complete the stages on Day 1. One of the strongest contenders in the Extreme category, Sanjay Agarwal along with his co-driver, Smitha N., saw their Maruti Suzuki Vitara go up in flames, just after the start, due to over-heating and some electrical issues.
Team Sparky’s Garage star, with Srikanth Gowda as his co-driver, made the most of Sunny Sidhu’s misfortune in the Extreme Category, to wrestle back into the game with a total time of 03:22:46, after the morning stage. Team Mahindra Adventure’s Sunny Sidhu and co-driver, Ashwin Naik were looking good on Day 1, but the heat got to them and their car, dropping them down on the leader board after the SS4.
Gaurav Gill along with his co-driver, Musa Sherif, who was trailing in the 4th position after Day 1, somehow managed to jump to the second position, by morning. Gaurav recorded a remarkable timing of 01:10:11 in SS4 for a total tally of 03:25:46, which is just three minutes more than the leader, while Samrat Yadav and his co-driver Kunal Kashyap held on to the third position.
In the Endure Category, Ankur Chauhan with his co-driver, Prakash M, was in the lead even with a collective leg penalty of 13 minutes and 38 seconds in 8 sections. While, Deepak Sachdeva and his co-driver, Japjyot Singh Dhingra were in the second position, and trailing behind them was Captain Abhilash Singh with his co-driver, Aashish Agarwal.
Commenting on her own performance, Aishwarya Pissay, Rider, TVS Racing said, “This year the heat has been extreme but I enjoyed Day 1. Stage 1 was a little more challenging than 2 but both were equally fast. I had a couple of falls but it was all fun and thankfully no major injury.”
Commenting on the team’s performance, B Selvaraj, Team Manager, TVS Racing said, “This year, Desert Storm is challenging as the temperatures are at its peak and staying hydrated for a longer duration is an added battle the racers have to fight. The team has started off on a good note with Adrien leading and the rest of the team are looking comfortable on their bikes as they finished the day on a positive note. The technical team is working hard making sure the bikes are strong for any kind of terrain and weather.”
Commenting on his performance Adrien Metge, Racer, Sherco TVS Rally Factory Team says, “This is my second Rally in India and I am really happy with my momentum at the start. Although the harsh weather is a big roadblock this time, I tried keeping my focus on navigation and successfully got my bike to the finish line. I hope to continue the momentum and have a podium finish.”