The first leg of Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm 2018 culminated in Bikaner today after covering a total distance of 217 km. In this scorching heat of the Thar Desert, the participants battled it out to grab the lead in their respective categories in the 16th edition of the rally. The maximum temperature in Bikaner touches 53.5 °C in summers and is also known as the Camel Country. The city is famous for its Junagarh fort, Karni Mata temple and camel festival.
In the Xtreme category, Suresh Rana along with his navigator PVS Murthy from Team Maruti Suzuki Motorsport was seen leading the rally by completing the leg first in his Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara. Following their lead was Aabhishek Mishra with his navigator V Venu Rameshkumar and Gaurav Chiripal with navigator, Srikanth Gowda who finished third.
Commenting on their lead on Day 1, Suresh Rana said, “We are thrilled to be part of the 16th edition of the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm. With new elements added to the rally such as Roadbook navigation and around 70% new tracks, the difficulty level of the rally has gone a notch higher. Our lead in the first leg will definitely act as a morale booster and we hope to replicate this in the coming legs of the rally.”
In the Moto category, CS Santosh took the lead in the first leg followed by Aaron Mare and Sanjay Kumar who came a close third.
Below is the total time of the top three participants from the NDure and Xplore category, at the end of Day 1:
Desert Raiders: Lt Col Sukhjeet Singh Dhaliwal & Lenin J (Penalty - 00:21:00)
Desert Raiders: Gurpinder Singh & Mrinmoy Saha (Penalty - 0:21:55)
Ruchit Jadhaw & Aditya Garg (Penalty - 0:22:34)
Nipun Agrawal & Kabir Mansharamani (Penalty - 00:09:07)
Desert Raiders: Vishal Choudhary & Abhivek Singh Godara (Penalty - 01:13:12)
Surendra Gopu & Hardeep Singh (Penalty - 01:30:04)
Now, Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm 2018 will now move towards Jaisalmer for the second leg of the rally.