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201416 Oct



Mohali man Amartej Buwal, driving a Maruti Gypsy, emerged victorious at the 16th Maruti Suzuki Raid De Himalaya. The Raid raced to a finish at Manali on October 10, after covering nearly 2,200 kilometers over six days of thrilling and grueling motor sporting action.


Bollywood showman Sohail Khan, who competed in Raid Adventure, said the 2014 Raid De Himalaya was one of the best and most beautiful experiences of his life. “The Raid is a life-changer. You learn at every turn. Mujhe rally ka keeda lag gaya hai (I am bitten by the rally bug). I now want to be part of Rally Xtreme at the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm, and definitely also the Raid next year,” he said.


Manohar Bhat, Vice-President (Marketing) Maruti Suzuki, said that after heavy snowfall at Kunzum La suspended Day 4 of the rally, there were fears about whether the Raid would complete its marathon run this year. “Fortunately, we encountered fine weather at Baralacha La and Nakee La, the formidable mountain passes, and the 16th Maruti Suzuki Raid De Himalaya was able to finish successfully,” said Bhat.




Buwal topped Raid Xtreme (4X4) with a time score of 10.35.41 hours. Capt Ajay Vir Singh Gill lost the top position to Buwal by less than two minutes, and finished second with a time-score of 10.36.51 hours. Karan Jung of Sitarganj in Uttarakhand takes the final step on the podium finishing third in this category with a time-score of 10.50.10 hours. Both Capt Gill and Jung were driving Maruti Gypsy.


Jagmeet Gill of Chandigarh, with navigator Chandan Sen, has scored a hat-trick by standing first-overall in Raid Adventure, driving a Maruti Gypsy. Interestingly, Jagmeet has won his three Raid Adventure titles driving the same Gypsy. His total penalty this year is 3.20 hours. Second in Raid Adventure is Subir Roy of Kolkata with navigator Nirav Mehta, with total penalty of 3.40 hours, also driving a Maruti Gypsy. The third position is this category was secured by Ashish Budhia of Ranchi with navigator Arindam Ghosh, at total penalty of 4.53 hours. Interestingly, all the top three navigators/co-drivers (Chandan Sen, Nirav Mehta and Arindam Ghosh) who finished 1-2-3 in Raid Adventure are from Kolkata.




In Raid Adventure (cars category), Rajesh Chalana of Sriganganagar with navigator Yogesh Gupta of Kolkata stood first, driving a Maruti Swift. Chalana was also the defending champion in this category.


In Raid Xtreme (Motorcycles), Nataraj R of Bangalore, riding a TVS RTR 450, finished first with a time-score of 9.50 hours. Suresh Babu of Delhi, riding a Suzuki RMX 450 Z, secured the second position with a time-score of 10.29.01 hours. Sourabh Handa of Ludhiana, riding a KTM Duke 390, finished third with a time-score of 10.49.28 hours. Nick Sarao, an NRI from Canada riding a WR 450, ranked fourth with a time-score of 11.05.09 hours. Sandeep Matharu of Chandigarh, riding a Bajaj Pulsar 200, ranked fifth with a time-score of 11.15.30 hours.




The 16th Maruti Suzuki Raid De Himalaya started with 41 teams in Raid Xtreme (4X4), of which only 19 teams managed to successfully finish the rally. In Raid Xtreme (Motorcycles), 27 competitors took the start, and dropped to 15 at the end of the rally. In Raid Adventure, 50 teams took the start, of which only 39 teams managed to make it to the finish line in Manali.


Vijay Parmar, President of Himalayan Motorsport, said, that the number of drop-outs would have been higher if heavy snowfall at Kunzum La had not stalled Day 4 of the Raid. “The competitive leg from Losar to Gramfu on the fourth day was among the toughest legs of the rally. If this leg had been held successfully, there would have been several drop-outs that day,” he said.




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