Shimla: It’s all set to vrroomm…. The ‘9th Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya 2007’, India’s most thrilling and captivating annual motorsport event, will be flagged off from Hotel Peterhoff, Shimla, in Himachal Pradesh tomorrow at 6 AM. Over the next seven days, the rally will traverse through Manali, Kaza, Dhankar, Gramphoo, Patseo, Leh, Drass, Kargil and will finally culminate in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir on October 8.
As many as 145 teams, including 6 international teams, are participating. This is the highest ever participation. Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya is the only Indian motorsport event that draws high attention from the international rallying circuit.
Of the total participants, 38 are in the tougher, X-treme category (for professionals). Another 59 are in Adventure Trail (for amateurs) category. The remaining 48 join the thrill in their 2-wheelers.
Another highlight is participation by two all-women teams. They are participating in the Xtreme category. Interestingly, for the first time a woman biker from overseas will also participate.
Speaking on the occasion of the 9th Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya, Mayank Pareek, Chief General Manager (Marketing), Maruti Suzuki India Limited said: “We are delighted that Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya is now in its ninth year. It is the commitment of the Maruti corporate, as also the efforts of Raid enthusiasts, that has sustained this flagship event despite the tremendous effort required to make this happen year after year”.
“Just as Maruti Suzuki is committed to bring cars to people across segments and geographies, it is also trying to bring the thrill and joy of motorsport at all levels. From events like Women’s Fun Drive and Treasure Hunt for families, to Autocross for amateurs and professionals, and right upto Maruti-Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya and Maruti Suzuki Rally Desert Storm, we are present at every step of the way”.
Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya is a key fixture in the international rallying circuit. The Raid is the only Indian motorsport event listed on the off-road rallies calendar of FIM (Federation Internationale Motorcyclisme), Geneva, Switzerland. Only 12 international events worldwide feature in this calendar.
Defending champion Suresh Rana of Himachal Pradesh will also participate in his Maruti Gypsy. Indian Army with 6 teams and Indian Air Force with one team have preferred Maruti Suzuki Gypsy as their rally vehicles. All participating vehicles are prepared as per Motosport Association of India (MAI) specifications.
This year the Raid will cover a distance of approximately 1715 Kms, spread over 7 legs in 7 days. The Raid-de-Himalaya will be flagged off from Simla on Oct 2 and after traversing through Manali, Kaza, Gramphoo, Patseo, Leh and Kargil, the event will finally culminate in Srinagar on Oct 8.
Some Quick Facts for 9th Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya:
- Passes through Khardung La, the world’s highest motorable road
- Highest ever participation of 145 teams
- Total Distance – 1715 Km, Competitive mileage of 607 kms and Transport mileage of 1108 kms
- Will cross 11 of the world’s highest mountain passes
- 6 International teams participating this year
- 2 all-women team in Xtreme 4-wheeler category
The Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya will pass through some of the most inhospitable terrains in the Western Himalayas. It will cover some areas where the temperature might dip as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius. The Raid will traverse some of the highest motorable passes in the world, namely Jalori Pass, Rohtang Pass, Kunzum La, Baralacha La, the 2nd highest & highest motorable pass in the world – Tanglang La & Khardung La. Also, this year the Raid touches the 2nd coldest place in the world – Drass before arriving in Srinagar to a grand finish.
Rallyists will cover around 300 kilometres on an average every day, of which 60 percent will comprise competitive stages run on narrow paths along high mountains.
Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya is India’s longest, highest & most strenuous motorsport rally that thoroughly tests the endurance and robustness of (wo)man, machine and the (wo)man in the machine.
The 9th Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya 2007 is co-sponsored by State Bank of India Personal Banking and supported by Himachal Tourism, Jammu and Kashmir Tourism and the Indian Army.