Himalayan Motorsport Association’s Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya, flagged off its 13th edition on October 11 from Shimla. With a total of 291 entries, the event witnessed a five percent increase in the participation. It had a total of 291 entries, including 10 female participants and five international participants.
There were planned two different routes for the Adventure and the X-treme categories. This rigorousness of a driving event covered over 2000kms, which were divided into six stages and spread over a time span of six days. The X-treme category initiated from Shimla with the route running through picturesque Manali, the Rohtang Pass, Leh, Khardung-La, Kargil (!!) and concluded in the capital of J&K, Srinagar. The Adventure trail also kicked off from Shimla, but passed instead through Manali, Dalhousie, Srinagar, Rangdum and looped back to the capital city of J&K, via Zoji-La pass.
Duo of Rana and Naik won the X-treme category in their mountain goat of a Maruti Gypsy. Team Austria’s Helmut Frauwallner won the Moto X-treme category on his seemingly ‘un-stoppable’ Husqvarna TE 449 and if that wasn’t enough he was also the overall winner, beating Rana and Naik. Also, it was for the first time that the top five spots in X-treme category bikers finished faster than the cars. The Rahejas in their SUV, the Suzuki Vitara won top honours in the Adventure Trail category. In order to get an idea about the nature of the event, I would like to add that of the 76 cars that participated in the Adventure Trail, only 53 managed to cross the chequered successfully.
X-treme (4WD – Modified/T1)
Suresh Rana and Ashwin Naik in Maruti Suzuki Gypsy – 12.41.22 hrs Harpreet Singh Bawa/Virendra Kashyap in Maruti Suzuki Gypsy 12.47.44 hrs. Lt. Col Shakti Bajaj/Maj BN in Prakash Maruti Suzuki Gypsy – 12.48.20 hrs.
X-treme (4WD – Stock/T2) Karan Jung/Vikram Sharma in Maruti Suzuki Gypsy – 13.07.59 hrs Lt. Col Subodh Verma/Maj Kushalendra in Maruti Suzuki Gypsy 13.25.36 hrs Parvinder Singh/ Paritosh Kohak in Maruti Suzuki Gypsy – 13.45.38 hrs
X-treme (Bikes) Helmut Frauwallner – 10.28.33 hrs. Ashish Moudgill – 10.39.47 hrs Lehner Gottfried – 11.50.59 hrs
Adventure Trial (Overall) Umesh Raheja/Yogesh Raheja – 5.03 min, Amol Satoskar/M K Mutafa – 13.49 min N Sreedhar Urs/K.Prasad – 13.58 min