Suresh, Ashish win Raid-de-Himalaya rally

October 16th, 2010 - 8:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Oct 16 (IANS) Suresh Rana and Ashish Moudgil won the 12th edition of the Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya, one of the world’s toughest motor rallies, in the car and bike categories, an organiser said Saturday.

“In the X-treme four-wheeler category Suresh Rana, while in the X-treme bike Ashish Saurabh Moudgil won the rally,” Manjeev Bhalla of the Himalayan Motorsport Association, told IANS over telephone from Manali, where the rally concluded.

Known as the ‘King of Racers’, Rana won the race for the sixth time in the X-treme four-wheeler category. In all the eight events he participated, he drove a Maruti Gypsy.

Sameer Pande of Delhi was at number two in X-treme category, while the third place was won by Harpreet Bawa of Chandigarh.

After winning the rally, an elated Rana said: “It was my luck and, of course, my vehicle supported me a lot. I really enjoyed the rally.”

However, last year Rana was out of the event in the fifth leg due to mechanical failure in his vehicle.

Moudgil won the race in the two-wheeler category for the third time in a row.

The six-day ‘Raid’, covered a distance of 1,668 km, passed through the most rugged and inhospitable terrain of trans-Himalayas. It concluded in Manali Friday night.

“This time again my luck favoured me. Next time again, I will definitely capture the Himalayas,” Moudgil said.

Sanjay Takley and Sanchiti won the event in the Adventure Trail category.

Bhalla said this time teams from the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force couldn’t secure any place. The rally also saw six foreign bikers, all from Austria.

The rally passed through Nalagarh, Solan, Manali, Kaza, Keylong and Sarchu and culminated at Manali.

As many as 166 professional motorists took part in the X-treme Four-Wheeler, X-treme Two-Wheeler and Adventure Trail categories.

This year the Raid skipped Jammu and Kashmir’s Ladakh region as flash floods in August badly affected road connectivity there.

The rally zoomed through the harsh, inhospitable but picturesque terrains of Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh.

The Raid-de-Himalaya is the only Asian motor sport event listed on the off-road rallies calendar of the Switzerland-based FIM (Federation Internationale Motorcyclisme), which captures the attention of the international rallying circuit as well.

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