Words by Afzal Rawuther
The 19th edition of the Raid de Himalaya will begin on the 7th of October, 2017, with a ceremonial flag off that will take place in Manali. The 2017 edition of the Raid de Himalaya follows a different route and finishes in Leh as opposed to Manali last year. The first stop during the Maruti Suzuki Raid de Himalaya will be Kaza, which is at an altitude of 12,500ft. The Raid de Himalaya will then make its way to Sarchu, Kargil, Leh ,Pensi La and Pang before culminating in Leh. Participants are expected to cover a distance of 2000kms over the course of a week.
Maruti Suzuki Raid de Himalaya is one of the toughest off-road rallies in the world and is one of the only two off-road motor-rallies from India listed in the annual motorsport calendar of the FIA. Here is the schedule for the event:
Speaking on the vehicle preparation, ten times Raid winner, Manali man Suresh Rana said,” I am extremely excited to be part of the team Maruti Suzuki Motorsport. Raid is all about the synchronicity between a driver and his vehicle. One has to know their vehicle in an out to brave any unexpected twist and turn in the route. At the end it is not only about physical endurance, but mental endurance as well. Most importantly, one must put all the efforts in vehicular safety, including all the safety harness and gears.”
Last year’s winners, Team Maruti Suzuki motorsports comprising of rally titans like Suresh Rana, Sandeep Sharma and Samrat Yadav are all set to compete in the Raid. The Team Maruti Suzuki Motorsport will participate in Gypsy, Vitara Brezza, S-Cross, Ignis and Grand Vitara.
The Raid de Himalaya is one of the toughest rallies in the world and participants traverse through treacherous terrain and inhospitable climate on their way.