Suresh Rana, Ashwin Naik Win Gruelling Himalayan Raid For 10th Time

Manali: The much awaited 18th Maruti Suzuki Raid de Himalaya concluded here  with Suresh Rana and his co-driver Ashwin Naik, clinching their 10th Maruti Suzuki Raid de Himalaya winner title.

Suresh Rana was driving Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara and clocked a total of 03:42:02 Hrs. Chasing the lead at the second position were Tsering Lhakpa and Venu Ramesh Kumar in Polaris RZR 1000, clocking 03:49:15 Hrs, third position was bagged by Sandeep Sharma and Karan Arya at 03:51:11 Hrs in Maruti Suzuki Gypsy.

The tough Xtreme route traversed approximately 800 Kms through some of the toughest terrains like Kaza, Spiti, Jispa and Sarchu. The treacherous terrains brought out the best synchronised relation between man and machine.

Rana and Naik, deserving winners at 18th Raid
Rana and Naik, deserving winners at 18th Raid

In the adventure category, Jagmeet Gill and Chandan Sen took the lead driving Maruti Suzuki Swift. This is fourth consecutive win for Jagmeet and Chandan. Maruti Suzuki Swift is the first car to win the adventure category.

Ajgar Ali & Mohd Mustafa in Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and Sunder Singh & Zaman Daoud Khan in Vitara Brezza stood at second and third position respectively. The adventure category of the rally followed the scenic route of Manali, Solang Valley, Tabo and through the sub-zero temperature of Sarchu valley.

Tanveer Abdul Wahid in his TVS RTR450 won the Motoquad Xtreme followed by R Natraj in TVS RTR450 at second position and Umang Saxena at the third position driving KTM Duke 390.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Vinay Pant, Assistant Vice President, Marketing, Maruti Suzuki said, “I congratulate the indomitable spirit of all the rallyists who participated and completed the 18th edition of Raid de Himalaya. We are constantly encouraged to see the increasing enthusiasm in participation every year. We should also take a moment to remember and salute the incredible life of Subhomoy Paul, ace rallyist from Kolkata. His memory shall forever live in our hearts and guide us in succeeding against all odds. ”

Cherishing his much coveted 10th raid de Himalaya trophy, Manali Man Suresh Rana said, “It feels good to hold my 10th Raid trophy. It is even special since I have brought the trophy home in my own city. Like always, Raid is all about incredible camaraderie and sportsmanship. We are all winners in our own rights.”

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All the motorsports enthusiasts participating in Raid and from across the country, the organisers and sponsors paid a tribute to Subhomoy Paul, who had participated in three Raid de Himalaya and several other international motorsports challenges.

It’s prudent to mention here that Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya is one of the two off-road motor rallies from India listed in the annual motorsport calendar of Switzerland based Federation Internationale Automobile (FIA) and Federation Internationale Motorcyclisme (FIM). The Maruti Suzuki Raid De Himalaya will run in compliance with the International Sporting Code of the FIA, National Competition Rules (NCR) & General Prescriptions of the FMSCI.

The rally is organized with the aim of conducting motor sporting events in the Himalayan regions of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand. Over 200 + qualified Scrutineers and Stewards who have current Scrutineer and Steward Licenses from the FMSCI will be making sure that rally sets some new standards this time.

Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice. He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express. With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology. Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.

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