Shimla: Top four wheel X-treme racer Suresh Rana, the lad from Kullu valley, surged pass Aman Ahluwalia and Bawa to take the lead in Raid 2012 on day two while C Santosh has overtaken last year’s winner Helmut Frauwallner, the Austrian biker, to lead in the motorcycle X-treme category.
The days competition started out at Manali and ended at Kaza in Spiti valley.
Rana with navigator Thakur, in a Maruti Grand Vitara had accumulated 3 hours, 11 minutes and 22 seconds (3.11.22) as penalty time and on his tail were Ahluwalia with navigator Mansukhani in a Maruti Gypsy with 3.12.59 of penalty time on their scorecard.
The Chandigarh based team of Harpreet Bawa and Kashyap, in a Maruti gypsy, who were leading on day one, dropped to third place on the second day with a penalty time of 3.13.37.
Driving Maruti Gypsy’s, Mishra and Halder were in fourth place with a penalty time of 3.16.42 and Pande – Matharu team were in fifth place with a penalty time of 3.17.13.
In the motorcycle and quads category the Bangalore based motobiker CS Santosh in a Honda CRF with a penalty time of 2.55.50 surpassed Helmut Frauwallener on a Yamaha WRF 450 who had accumulated a penalty time of 2.59.23.
Riding Polaris bikes, at end of Day two, a neck and neck race was on between Raj Singh Rathore with a penalty time of 3.16.25 and Jes David with a time 3.17.21, who were in third and fourth position respectively.
On a KTM Duke, Mohit Veram with a penalty time of 3.54.27 was in fifth place.
In the Adventure Trail category with Mysore rallyist K Prasad in the driving seat and Chandrashekha navigating the Maruti Grand Vitara, they went passed the top five rallyists on the opening day to be in the lead by end of day two.
With a penalty time of 1.29, Prasad- Chandrashekha team were top in Adventure Trail category followed by the Pune speedster Sanjay Takale and Musthafa in a Tata Safari and a time of 1.43 in second position.
Satoskar and Natarajan in a Mahindra Scorpio with a time of 2.38 were in third place, S Chand and N Mehta in a Tata Safari with a time of 2.52 were in fourth place and Padia and Sekar in a Pajero and a penalty time of 3.10 were in fifth position in a Adventure Trail category on Day two.
When Raid Marshals noticed that Amittrajit Gosh, winner of the 2012 Mughal Rally, did not reach the Chhatru post after starting out the 8 Km competitive stretch from Gramphoo along Chandra River valley and Along Aiyer, who hails from Nagaland who was untraceable Chhatru and Chhota Darra, a heli search was asked for early in the day.
“In five minutes it was found that both vehicles had suffered a mechanical breakdown,” said Vijay Parmar, president of Himalayan Motorsport, who led the search operation. “With a dedicated helicopter on standby, the operation saved 20 minutes of Raid time,” he added.
Of the 50 who set out from Shimla in the X-treme four wheel category there were only 33 survivors left in the 2012 Raid, and of the 35 in the motorcyclists and quads category there were only 24 in the race left on day two and in the Adventure Trail category out of the 60 who had participated there were on 45 left.
On Day 3, the vehicles set out early to do a loop in Spiti Valley and would end the day back in Kaza.
Covering a total distance of about 1800 Kms with over 600 Kms of competitive sections, the 6 day Raid ends at Leh.