Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm Rally - 2013

After the snow capped stages of Rally Sweden, WRC ending up in Ogier & VW's kitty bag, our eyes shifted towards the 11th edition of the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm Rally, [a.k.a. the Indian version of Dakar, though a mini version]. The event was flagged off the Maruti Suzuki Brand Center Arena, Delhi and the rally dug up the dunes of the Thar desert, and all the way up to the capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur clocking a total of 2,200+ km.

Niaz Ali & Nikhil Pai in Mighty Hilux
This year saw an extra competition from the Australian team lead by Niaz Ali, Team QMSC who shipped their mighty 4x4 Nissan & a Hilux, which was the highlight of the rally. Unfortunately both their steed ended up retiring on the first day/night's outing over the dunes, and disappointing their team who flew all the way to India.

Multiple rally-raid champion, Suresh Rana won the prestigious event in the factory [Maruti Suzuki] backed Grand Vitara to the top of the podium, while the Team Mahindra's, Super Thar 4x4 prepared by Performance and driven by Sunny Sidhu took the second place and the third spot was also secured by the Red Rooster Performance prepared Mahindra Super-XUV500 driven by Lohitt Urs.

In the Quad category, the title defender Brandon took the top honours, while Raj Singh Rathore settled for second. It was the Bikes category that was watched more closely, as the Chief Organiser of Raid-de-Himalaya, Vijay Parmar in a KTM was leading until the penultimate leg of the event, only to be overtaken by the younger Mohit Verma in his KTM Duke 200.

Complete results can be found here.

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