MANALI- KUNZUM LA – PATSEO (8th October 2009)
The Raid’s historical attrition of the first leg is not the same this year. There is a healthier start list on Leg 2 Manali to Patseo. Two very fast stages are slated for the day and they are designed to take their toll on the competitors.
4X4 Xtreme Cars and Trucks
With a spirited run on the Gramphoo stage Suresh Rana showed he was in no mood to let a” flash in the pan” take away his traditional glory. On the other hand luck favoured him when the early leader Aman Ahluwalia picked up over an hour in penalties on the rough stage and dropped clean off the leaderboard into 15th spot. Rana pulled out an impressive performance and dominated the day spectacularly. From being in second place on Leg 1 Rana stretched his lead to over 8 minutes from second placed daredevil Maj Shakti Bajaj.
He did that by zeroing the second stage from Darch to Patseo in less than the 15 minutes allowed. It is only the second time in the history of the Raid that the stage has been zeroed !
Harpreet Bawa moved up to chase Shakti Bajaj and his efforts saw him behind Bajaj by a mere 58 seconds. In 4th place was Sameer Pande just a minute off Bawa’s time. Amarinder Brar clawed his way up from 11thÂ spot to take fifth just a minute behind Pande. The Xtreme category of the Raid isÂ hotting up!
In the bikes it seemd to be business as usual. Ashish Moudghil further reinforced his lead on the WR 250 Yamaha to a comfortable 18 minutes over second placedÂ Sandeep Matharu.
Sarao, though on the larger 450 WR Yamaha, was unable to do anything about being pushed further into the sunset by Ashish but lay just over Matharu’s shoulder in arrears!
# 116 , Subhamoy Paul went out with clutch failure while climbing Rohtang. # 113, under shock after a mild fall lost heart and decided to go home. We wished him godspeed!
Chanda lost his lead on Leg 2 dropping three places to fourth spot. Prasad aboard his Bolero pushed hard and was rewarded with a first place. A minute in arrears and right behind Prasad was the indomitable team of the Raheja brothers and their Gypsy. Still in second spot they are being chased by the hard charging Patels also in a Gypsy.
Jangra leads the Cras category in his SX4. However they lie 7 minutes behind and unless luck intervenes it will be a hard task to make up.
The attrition on the Trial was the hardest yet. #75, a Maruti Swift Desire snapped its rear control arm and despite the attempts of the service crew following the event could not continue. # 56 sheared his timing belt and his charge was done at Gramphoo on thereturn from Batal and the Kunzum La.
# 66, Jagmeet Gill was still running after an overheating radiator was cramping his style.Though at 20th spot in the overall result Gill was still fighting!