New Delhi, Feb 20 (PTI) Around 280 drivers will defy thetough terrains of Thar, rocky slopes of Aravalli and slipperysands of Rann of Kutch when they compete at the 9th MarutiSuzuki Desert Storm Rally to be flagged off from Ahmadabad onTuesday.
The six-day rally, which will cover a total distance of3,500 km before culminating here on February 27, is beingparticipated by around 100 teams from across the country.
During the challenging journey, the drivers have to provetheir mettle while negotiating the tough off-road terrains,semi-dry river beds and some boulder strewn roads across therugged Aravalli mountain.
The rally, organised jointly by Maruti Suzuki andNorthern Motorsports, will be traversing through the Rann ofKutch, Bhuj, Jaisalmer, Barmer, Pokheran, Bikaner, Jaiselmerand Jaipur. Unlike previous editions, this time the rallykicks off in opposite direction, from Ahmedabad, andculminates in Delhi.
The rally, traversing the interiors of Rajasthan andalong the Gujarat coastline, will be conducted in fourcategories -- Xtreme, Ndure, Explore and Moto/Quad. In thefour-wheeler section, 130 teams will compete in Xtreme, Xploreand Ndure categories. In the Xtreme category, 55 teams areparticipating while in Xplore and Ndure categories, theirnumbers are 36 and 38 respectively. Rest participants are intwo-wheeler category.
"Maruti Suzuki is committed to promote and bring themotorsport closer to common man in India. This continuedeffort by the company for over a decade now has seen manychallenging motorsport events in the country.
"Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm is one such example which hasbeen recording ever increasing strength of motorsportenthusiasts participating in the rally. The rally this yearwith largest ever participation and motoring duration willsoon unfold thrilling moments for motorsport lovers in thecountry," said Shashank Srivastava, Chief GM (Marketing),Maruti Suzuki.
Desert Storm is the only rally in the country to run acomprehensive interactive virtual rally car tracking facility.
It will provide competitors online real time tracking andcomparison page for all enthusiasts wanting to keep abreastwith the rally on the web.
Desert Storm participants include doctors, engineers,businessmen and even housewives across all age groups.
Maruti Suzuki also hosts Raid-de-Himalaya, India''s mostrecognisable motorsports event worldwide and the Dakshin Dare,its latest initiative to reach out the motorsports lovers inthe south.