The 16th Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm has been flagged off from Noida, with about 140 entrants participating in this iconic rally that will take them through the Thar Desert. The number of participants is reportedly the highest in the history of the Desert Storm and includes a much larger contingent of women drivers and navigators.
The participants, including five-time winner Suresh Rana and Dakar veteran CS Santosh, will compete over 2,000km of rough, rugged and sandy terrain over the course of six days.
As before, the Desert Storm comprises four categories – Xtreme, Moto, Endure and Xplore. Participants in the last category can go the whole hog and compete on all six days, or opt out after just two or three days.
While the night stage had debuted on the 2015 edition of the Desert Storm, the 2018 one gets two night stages near Jaisalmer as part of stage 4. The first three stages will take place around Bikaner, before heading towards Jaisalmer.
Among the key competitors, Team Maruti Suzuki’s Suresh Rana is looking to get his sixth win (and third consecutive win), while audiences hope that CS Santosh, racing for Hero, will be able to better his third-place finish last year.
The Desert Storm will conclude on March 23, 2018. Stay tuned for daily updates on the event.