The Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya, an annual adventure motorsport event organised by the Himalayan Motorsport Association, flagged off its 13th edition on October 11 to from Shimla. This year saw a five percent increase in participation, with a total of 291 entries, including 10 female participants and five international participants.
There were two separate routes for the Adventure and X-treme categories. This test of driving endurance was spread over a 2000km course, divided into six legs and spread over six days. The X-treme category started from Shimla with the route running through Manali, the Rohtang Pass, Leh, Khardung-La, Kargil and concluding in Srinagar. The Adventure trail also kicked off from Shimla, but passed instead through Manali, Dalhousie, Srinagar, Rangdum and looped back to the capital city of J&K, crossing the Zoji-La pass en route.
The team of Rana and Naik won the X-treme category in their Maruti Gypsy. Helmut Frauwallner from Team Austria won the Moto X-treme category on his Husqvarna TE 449 and was also the overall winner, beating Rana and Naik. In fact, it was the first time the top five X-treme category bikers finished faster than the cars in the Raid. The Rahejas in their Suzuki Vitara won top honours for Maruti in the Adventure Trail category, with a time penalty of just 5.03 minutes. Of the 76 cars that entered the Adventure Trail, only 53 managed to cross the finish line successfully.