Abhishek Mishra along with navigator PVS Murthy have entered the record books as winners of the 13th edition of the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm. Traversing harsh and unforgiving terrain, from Delhi to Rajasthan, the lead pair covered a distance of approximately 2,300 kilometres in their Grand Vitara. Participating in the Xtreme category, the duo completed the fifth and final stage, a distance of 330km from Bikaner to Jaipur, in¬†14 hours, 32 minutes and 28 seconds.¬†The second spot in the Xtreme category was bagged by¬†Harpreet Bawa and his navigator Ashwin Naik who were also piloting a Grand Vitara. The last spot on the podium was secured by¬†Niju Padia and Shekhar V¬†in a Mitsubishi Pajero.
The Ndure category requires drivers to complete the same distance that drivers in Xtreme category cover, although in the ¬†Time Speed Distance format. This category was aced by¬†Vishnu Singh and his navigator Adithya Anthony in a Grand Vitara followed by¬†Somdeb Chanda and Neerav Mehta in a Gypsy and the third position was grabbed by¬†Sharavik Shah and Amit Kumar Saha who completed the Desert Storm in a Pajero.
Abhishek Mishra commented on his win saying, “I am super thrilled at this victory. All the weeks of hard work have paid off. I am eagerly looking forward to next year‚Äôs rally. It takes a lot of hard work, concentration and following the basic principles of safe driving to complete the rally.‚ÄĚ
CS Santosh, who has just returned from¬†a brilliant debut at the the Dakar rally this year, showcased his immense talent as he topped the time sheets in the Moto Quad category with a stunning time of¬†¬†1 hour 29 minutes and 59 seconds. The second and third position were bagged by Jes David and Mohit Verma respectively. The Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm 2015 was a rally filled with challenges that tested the mental and physical strength of the participants as well as their machine’s capacity to endure the pounding that the natural landscape meted out.
At the beginning, there were 130 participants, but as the rally progressed, the gruelling terrain took its toll on the riders and drivers as well as the machines. At the end, the rally was completed by only 69 of the participants – of which our road test editor Halley Prabhakar was one. Halley, who was driving for Team Polaris, finished first in the T3 category and 17th overall. He displayed nerves of steel as he tackled the heat and ¬†untimely rain in a Polaris buggy. His sportsman’s determination came to the fore when he recovered from a roll, got to the service park and back into the rally. It is for his incredible abilities behind the wheel that we at OVERDRIVE have dubbed him as Rally Halley.
Manohar Bhatt, vice president, marketing, Maruti Suzuki said, “The participants did really well and increased the bar for the next rally. It indeed was a test of man and machine, which only few bravehearts were able to finish and win. . . It‚Äôs great to see the passion, for motorsport, which lies in their heart. Team Maruti Suzuki will always provide its motorists the best of the opportunities and vehicles to face such extreme sports. We hope to see all the daredevils to raise the bar higher. We will be back next year with another exciting and adrenaline pumping edition of the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm rally. ‚ÄĚ
Abhishek Mishra rises as the star of 13th edition of Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm 2015
Jaipur, March 1, 2015: In the grand finale, for the week long intensive and one of India‚Äôs longest and toughest Motorsport rally, Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm, the participants ended the Leg 5 in the historical and beautiful city of Jaipur. This year‚Äôs edition of Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm rally started from New Delhi and traversed towards Rajasthan on 23rd February 2015 with 130 participants. Today, with the rally coming to an end, only 69 participants could make it to the finish line. Covering approximately 2300 kms of western India, the rallyists competed against each other in challenging categories that were carried out in the rough terrains of Rajasthan. The rally started with great fervour and enthusiasm and covered some of the most scenic and historical cities and towns. The swiftest of the entire participant, Abhishek Mishra from Delhi, was declared winner of the ultimate face off.
On the final day, the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm rallyists raced towards Jaipur in their vehicles from Bikaner covering a distance of approximately 330 Kms. The route was full of challenges and twists and unexpected desert rain which made the rally even more interesting for both, the rallyists and the spectators.
This year‚Äôs edition of Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm kept the motorsports enthusiasts in the country glued to the scoreboard for each leg of the rally. Top honors of the rally went to Abhishek Mishra from Delhi and his navigator PVS Murthy driving a Grand Vitara in the XTreme category with a timing of 14:32:28 Hrs. Harpreet Bawa from Chandigarh and his navigator Ashwin Naik in their Vitara, grabbed the second position by clocking 15:05:09 Hrs followed by the team of Niju Padia of Bhavnagar and Shekhar V in their Pajero at 16:26:18 Hrs at the third position.
Speaking of his win Abhishek Mishra said,‚ÄĚ I am super thrilled at this victory. All the weeks hard work has been paid off. I am eagerly looking forward to next year‚Äôs rally‚Äô. Speaking further he said, ‚Äúit takes a lot of hard work, concentration and following the basic principles of safe driving to complete the rally‚ÄĚ.
In the NDure category, motorists traveled the same distance as XTreme teams but in the Time Speed Distance format in the Leg 5 of the event. Jaipur greeted its own boy Vishnu Singh and his navigator Adithya Anthony driving Vitara, as the winners with a day end penalty of 0:25:42 Hrs. Somdeb Chanda and Neerav Mehta from Kolkata at the third position in Gypsy at the day end penalty of 0:33:28 Hrs. Sharavik Shah and Amit Kumar Saha in their Pajero bagged the third position with a day penalty of 0:34:18 Hrs
In the Moto Quad category, CS Santosh showed his exemplary driving skills and passion and grabbed the first prize by clocking 1:29:59 Hrs . Jes David of Jaipur was no less than a winner, with a timing of 1:44:49 Hrs, he grabbed the second position. Mohit Verma continued to push himself to finish third with a total time of 2:04:58 Hrs.
The winners were announced in a grand celebration, on the sixth and the final day at Hotel Clarks Amer, Jaipur. Mr. Manohar Bhatt, Vice President, Marketing, Maruti Suzuki said, ‚ÄúThe participants did really well and increased the bar for the next rally. It indeed was a test of man and machine, which only few brave hearts were able to finish and win.‚ÄĚ He further added, ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs great to see the passion, for motorsport, which lies in their heart. Team Maruti Suzuki will always provide its motorists the best of the opportunities and vehicles to face such extreme sports. We hope to see all the daredevils to raise the bar higher. We will be back next year with another exciting and adrenaline pumping edition of the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm rally. ‚ÄĚ
RESULTS AFTER LEG 5:
1. Abhishek Mishra & PV Srinivas Murthy ‚Äď 14:32:28 Hrs
2. Harpreet Bawa & Ashwin Naik ‚Äď 15:05:09 Hrs
3. Niju Padia & Shekhar V ‚Äď 16:26:18 Hrs
NDure Cars ‚Äď End of Leg 5
1. Vishnu Singh & Adithya Anthony ‚Äď 0:25:42 Hrs
2. Somdeb Chanda & Neerav Mehta ‚Äď 0:33:28 Hrs
3. Shravik Shah & Amit Kr Saha - 0:34:18 Hrs
XPlore Cars- End of Leg 5
1. Kartil Maruti & Sankar Anand ‚Äď 0:5:26 Hrs
2. Subham Midha & Abhinav Kalra ‚Äď 0:4:46 Hrs
3. Anubhab De & Chandan Sen ‚Äď 0:3:04 Hrs
1. CS Santhosh ‚Äď 1:29:59 Hrs
2. Jes David ‚Äď 1:44:49 Hrs
3. Mohit Verma ‚Äď 2:4:58 Hrs