6th October 2009, saw the 11th edition of the Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya – India’s longest, highest and most strenuous motorsport event –flag off from Shimla. With around 115 teams from over 24 regions of the country as well as from abroad in the fray, the eight-day event – to be held during October 6-13 – will witness a roaring participation this year.
Some 200 motorsport enthusiasts across three categories – 66 in Xtreme 4-wheelers, 20 in Xtreme 2-wheelers (both for professionals), and 110 in Adventure Trial (for amateurs) – will be vying for the coveted title.
This time, the Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya rally routes will be the same for participants in Xtreme and Adventure Trial.
The rally will traverse through Manali, Kunzum La, Rangdum, Patseo, Leh and Kargil to culminate at Srinagar, covering a distance of more than 2,000 kms, spread over multiple legs in seven days. The vehicle scrutiny is scheduled on October 5 and 6. The Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya rally, on an average, covers a distance of 300 kms in a day. About 60 per cent of a day’s drive would be through the narrowest of the roads snaking along high mountainsides.
The 11th Raid-de-Himalaya will run in three separate versions:
Xtreme: This version is the toughest of the lot and is open only to those 4-wheeler drivers who have prior rallying experience and have competed in one of the earlier editions of the Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya or Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm.
Adventure Trial: This version will run on the same challenging route and is open to those motorsport enthusiasts, who would like to take on the Himalayas but without the tough competition, difficulty and stress involved in the Xtreme. This section will be open only to stock cars and only certain safety-related modifications will be allowed in the competing cars.
Bikes Xtreme: This section is open to bikes of all types and makes but there are certain regulations that the bikers will have to adhere to. Participants in this category are probably the bravest of the raiders, as they have to face the hostile weather and tough terrains without the comforts of a cabin surrounding them.