Shimla, Oct 1 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today flagged off the 10th edition of the Maruti Suzuki, Raid-de-Himalaya rally" from the Peterhoff hotel here.
The Raid, India's longest, highest and most strenuous motorsport event, which will see around 132 teams in the fray, the maximum ever participation in the history of this event.
The eight-day event will end on October 9 at Leh.
Around 200 motorsport enthusiasts across three categories-77 in X-treme (for professionals), 20 in Adventure Trial (for amateurs) and 35 in the third category for 2-wheelers will vie for the coveted title.
Among the participants are eight doughty women rallyists. Klaudia Honeder from Austria is participating for the second time in the 2-wheeler category.
Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya, listed on the off-road rallies calendar of Switzerland-based FIM (Federation Internationale Motorcyclisme), is the only Indian motorsport event that draws attention from the international rallying circuit.
This year, the Raid will cover a distance of approx 2,400 kms, spread over 8 legs in eight days. The rally will be flagged from Shimla and will traverse through Manali, Kaza, Patseo, Leh, Kargil and Zanskar to culminate in Leh.
The Raid will pass through some of the most inhospitable terrains in the Western Himalayas. It will climb over some of the highest motorable passes in the world including the Tanglang La, the second highest motorable passes in the world. Other lofty mountain passes including Jalori Pass, Rohtang Pass, Kunzum La, and the formidable Baralacha La are part of this year's challenge, the release added.
The rally routes will be different for participants in X-treme and Adventure Trial this time.
UNI PS MMS2050