The fifth edition of one of the most toughest rallies in India, the Ultimate Desert Challenge was flagged off earlier today. The rally will be held from February 1, to 3 in the tricky sand dunes of Bikaner, Rajasthan. The first three stages of the rally were held today and featured challenging loops along with steep dunes to conquer. Kabir Wairach and Amber Udasi put on a great performance in their Polaris UTV, while RFC Champion, Gurmeet Virdi and Kunaal Kashyap managed to put in the second best time.
Kabir finished the first special stage almost 19 seconds ahead of Gurmeet who lost considerable pace in the dunes. On the last stage of the day, Kabir carried the same pace, finishing seven seconds ahead of Gurmeet, while Devendra Singh Rathore and co-driver Vinay Bhatnagar finished a minute behind settling for third place.
The Ultimate Desert Challenge 2019 is divided into two parallel segments the ‘Offroad’ and ‘X-Cross’. Through 12 Special Stages, UDC Offroad will test the driving & vehicle recovery skills of the competitors in extreme desert. Points are awarded to competitors who successfully complete an SS and penalties are incurred for not starting or finishing an SS or for not adhering to the event rules & regulations. The team with the maximum points at the end of the 12 Special Stages will be announced as the overall winner of UDC Offroad.
Arvind Balan (President, Dune Adventure Sports Club) explained, “This year’s Ultimate Desert Challenge is going to host all-desert stages, eliminating our traditional stages in the grit mines and the obstacle course in stadium. Keeping the safety concerns of participants in mind, we have added a zero car in all special stages of UDC Offroad to test & showcase their feasibility before the actual competition starts. We have always desired to grow motorsport beyond its male-centric image and we’re delighted to welcome 4 women-driven teams on board.”
Taruna Shekhawat (Assistant Director, Rajasthan Tourism) said that, “Rajasthan Tourism has always been a proud promoter of adventure tourism in the state and it gives me great joy to partner with the Ultimate Desert Challenge yet again. I am quite impressed by the superior show of offroading capabilities that these competitors have showcased at UDC in previous editions. I wish the best for all the participants at this year’s UDC; may the best team wins!”