Shifting loose sand and sliding through dunes, the second day of the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm 2015 came to an action packed end. Starting off at the crack of dawn from Jaitapur, a hamlet near Sardarshahar, participants and their tough machines endured some grueling terrain to reach Bikaner. The route of the XTreme category was a mix of quick shifting sand and dunes, steep turns and uneven terrain. Many cars got stuck in the sand while watching bikers lose control over the sand dunes was a common sight. Undeterred by the strong wind and the cloud of dust left behind in the trail of speeding cars and bikes, the enthusiastic locals hunched on the side of the tracks, rushed to the help of stuck vehicles and the drivers.
Traversing approximately 350 kms during the day in the XTreme 4 Wheeler category, Suresh Rana, from Manali with his navigator Parminder Thakur clocked 5:30:34 Hrs in his Vitara to take the lead. Abhishek Mishra from Delhi along with his navigator PV Srinivas Murthy slipped to second position after getting a penalty of 3 minutes at 5:31:47 Hrs in the second leg of this power-packed event. Team of Harpreet Bawa and Ashwin Naik from Chandigarh were at third positon at 5:42:51 Hrs. With Suresh Rana, surging ahead at the first spot, the stiff competition between him and Abhishek Mishra is clearly evident by the difference in timing of 1:13 minutes. In the XTreme category, vehicles covered a liaison distance of 343 kms and traveled through the sandy terrain of Jaitpur and Bikaner and will be proceeding to Jaisalmer from where the rally will navigate for the upcoming days.
In the XTreme bike category, all the hopes are riding on CS Santosh, the only Indian to finish the Dakar rally, clocked today’s leg at 2:12:44. He was fiercely challenged by Jes David (2:36:36 Hrs) at the second position and Mohit Verma (2:45:13) and Vijay Parmar (3:05:45) who stood third and fourth respectively.
NDure motorists travelled through the same route as XTreme teams but in Time Speed Distance (TSD) format to complete the second leg of the challenge. Kolkata’s Somdeb Chanda and Neerav Mehta are leading with a penalty of 03:28 in their Gypsy while the team of Vishnu Singh of Jaipur and Adithya Anthony of Bangalore are at the second position with a penalty of 08:33 in their Vitara. Team of Kolkata’s Ajgar Ali and Erode’s Mustafa were at a penalty of 10:20 to make it to the third spot in their Vitara.
RESULTS AFTER LEG 2: XTreme Cars (all three in Grand Vitara)
1. Suresh Rana – 5:30:34
2. Abhishek Mishra – 5:31:47
3. Harpreet Bawa – 5:42:51
NDure Cars at the end of leg 1A
1. Somdeb Chanda and Neerav Mehta (Penalty 03:28) in Gypsy
2. Vishnu Singh and Adithya Anthony (Penalty 08:33) in Vitara
3. Ajgar Ali and Mustafa (Penalty 10:20) in Vitara
Moto Quad results at the end of Leg 1:
1. CS Santosh – 2:12:44
2. Jes David – 2:36:36
3. Mohit Verma – 2:45:13
4. Vijay Parmar – 3:05:45