It is a six-day rally, which has many firsts to its credit, traverses approximately 2,600 km through the interiors of Rajasthan and along the Gujarat coastline before culminating at Udaipur.
The rally is a mix of adventure, thrill and excitement for the participants as they tread through uncharted territory and experience the formidable Thar Desert, the rocky and uncertain Aravalli, and the slippery and white sands of the Rann of Kutch.
The route will take the 170 rallyists through competitive and transport sections. The competitive section includes tough, off-road terrain that has gravel, sand and rocks, while the transport section is run on inter-city state highways and connecting roads.
Maruti Suzuki Rally Desert Storm thoroughly tests the skills of the drivers and ruggedness of their cars and the bikes.
The rally will cover the most scenic and picturesque remote areas of Rajasthan. Heritage properties at Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Khimser & Jaipur serve as night halts.
Rally enthusiasts from as far as Arunachal Pradesh in the east to Goa in the west enter to take on the challenges of the wilderness. The participants include doctors, engineers, businessmen and housewives across age groups. There are also some women teams' and ' husband-wife' teams which participate. Indian Army and Air Force also send their teams.
The safety effort is supplemented with over 8 ambulances along the route. The rally is monitored for its entire duration by over thirty radio-equipped cars. More than a hundred volunteers ensure safe passage of the event, most of them are rally and motorsport veterans.
This years Maruti Suzuki Rally Desert Storm has three categories :
PRO (for professionals) - 4WD & 2WD
NAV (for amateurs) - 4WD SUV
NAV (for amateurs) - Cars
A record 170 rallyists vying for top honours
Challenge of 12 tough Special Stages enroute
The 7th Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm 2009 will run a mix of around 12 Special Stages to test the participants' driving skills under various conditions. The 12 stages are as follows:
Wild cat: A drive through leopard territory via a dry river bed under the night sky Back to School: A simple straight-forward section through sandy farming country which can bog down the unwary Redline Express: Running parallel to a train track and then suddenly turning into a sandy section is not so easy that too with a speed evaluation. The Twilight Zone: This section might make the participants end up on a sand dune Dust to Glory: This is a stage where one can even find that he has lost the path Ground Zero: It may seem easy to drive through dry lakes till they reveal that they aren't really dry Tora Tora Tora: Situated right next to an Air Force practice range Bad Max: It is a freezing level where one has to cross a 80km long river bed Black Gold Special: The site of local 'Mahopar' festival features a short and twisty special track that snakes between two dunes and then opens at the National Highway Forest & Furious: The thrill of driving through the forest The Beach: Driving along the waves of the Arabian Sea and inhaling the salt-infused air of the high seas Gone in Sixty Seconds: After a long, sandy and scary drives, the last one is quite exciting with a 75 km long stretch on a flat horizon with no discerning landmarks
Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm 2009 was organized in partnership with Northern Motorsport, for the seventh year in the running. Northern Motorsport is one of the leading motorsport organization in India and organizes a range of motorsport events for Maruti Suzuki including Auto-Cross, Rally of the North etc. With a team of well-known automotive enthusiasts, Maruti Suzuki and Northern Motorsport together are exploring the unexplored terrains of motorsports in India.
Received this Exclusive Information from Mahindra Auto.
Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M), the market leader in the utility vehicle segment in India, has good reason to rejoice this year. The Scorpio (the company’s flagship brand) won the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm 2010 in the Ndure category. In 2009 the Scorpio had also won the Adventure Trial SUV Category of Raid De Himalaya one of the toughest rallies in the country and came 3rd in the Rally de Sertoes which is one of the toughest rallies in the world.
The Desert Storm Rally was organized by Maruti Suzuki in collaboration with Northern Motorsport. The race culminated in Udaipur after charting a course that covered 3000 kms through the interiors of Gujrat and Rajasthan. The rally saw the highest participation this year with about 250 participants with 100 cars and 21 bikes. The route they covered consisted of some of the toughest terrain the country has to offer, as a result only 11 of the 21 cars in the Ndure category managed to complete the race.
The winning Scorpio was driven by Raj Singh Rathore with Dhiraj Arora as his co-driver. Together they survived and won a grueling race in which the participants travelled through the majestic Aravalis, endured the searing heat of the Thar and navigated the marshy expanse of the Great Rann. What made the win even more incredible is that the top-of-the-line Scorpio VLX the duo used was not modified in anyway.
It is feats like these that have made the Mahindra Scorpio the leader in the SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) segment in India. The iconic brand has also won widespread industry acclaim. Some of the prestigious awards it has won include the CNBC Autocar Car of the Year Award, BBC Wheels Best SUV of the Year and Best Car of the Year awards and the BS Motoring Car of the Year Award. This is a true testament to Mahindra Scorpio’s spirit of adventure.