Raid-de-Himalaya motor rally flagged off

October 06, 2013 12:00 am | Updated 05:39 am IST - SHIMLA:

Maruti-Suzuki India Limited executive director T. Hashimoto flagged off the 15{+t}{+h}Raid-de-Himalaya motor rally from Kandaghat near Shimla on Saturday.

Considered one of the most challenging and toughest car rallies, it has the maximum number of entries (153 teams) and a number of firsts to its credit this year, said event spokesperson Rajni Chopra.

During the ceremonial flag off, Mr. Hashimoto said the Himalayan Raid had become one of the pioneer motorsport events in the country and put India on the global motorsport map.

This year the rally will run in two different routes for the X-treme and Adventure Trial categories. Enroute, participants and their machines will brave challenges thrown by some of the highest mountain passes in the world. The rally will culminate in Leh on October 12.

Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya is organised in association with motorsport organiser Himalayan Motorsport. According to Himalayan Motorsport president Vijay Parmar, the event promises to be hugely difficult due to uncertain weather. Early onset of winter has been forecast in the western Himalayan region and the participants may actually face snow and icy winds with the mercury falling to 15 degrees Celsius below zero at places.

The event will take on two of the highest mountain passes in the world this year — the Khardung La and the Wari La. The raiders will race to Khardung La, at an elevation of 18,379 feet above the sea level, and the Wari La at an elevation of 17,300 feet above the sea level, in Ladakh. Wari La is going to be a highly exacting challenge for the raiders. The Wari La climb happens in 14 km, while the Khardung La climb is 32-km long. The descent into the Nubra Valley is equally steep and rapid. The challenge of the raid lies in competitive driving at these impossible altitudes, which demand the best from both man and machine.

In its 14-year history, the raid has conquered the Khardung La and the Wari La only once. The high mountain passes are marked by such heavy snowfall and blizzards that they have refused to yield way to motorsport enthusiasts from the country and abroad, said the spokesperson.

Top News Today


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.