CHENNAI: It’s that time of the year when motorsport enthusiasts gear up for one of the world’s toughest off-road rallies – the Raid de Himalaya. Beginning in the picturesque town of Manali on October 7, the week-long event will see man and machine make their way over hostile mountain terrain, covering about 2,000 km and crossing places like Kaza, Sarchu, Kargil, Leh and Pensi La.
Sub-zero temperatures and low oxygen levels are sure to test even the best of drivers. But as the 10-time winner, Suresh Rana says, “It’s not only about physical endurance, but mental endurance as well.”
The treacherous roads require participants to know their vehicles in and out. “The Raid is all about the synchronicity between a driver and his vehicle,” the rally titan from Manali explains.
Pegged as the world’s highest-altitude motorsport event, the Maruti Suzuki Raid de Himalaya is one of the two off-road motor rallies in India listed on the annual motorsport calendar of the Switzerland-based Federation Internationale Automobile (FIA) and Federation Internationale Motorcyclisme (FIM).
The rally will be conducted in compliance with the International Sporting Code of FIA, and the National Competition Rules (NCR) and General Prescriptions of the FMSCI.