Having covered a distance of 1,100km, the pack of rallyists reached the picturesque town of Kargil on day five of the Maruti Suzuki Raid De Himalaya. From over 100-plus entries at the start in Manali, only 27 X-treme category participants managed to advance to the Kargil - Pensi La - Kargil stage, revealing the arduous nature of the Raid.
With every passing day, the Raid is proving to be a test of strength and adaptation for both drivers and riders in the high altitudes of the Himalayas. Day five, in fact, saw the participants take on the Kargil - Pensi La - Kargil stage in the Zanskar valley. Known to have turned the tables during previous Raids, this year’s stage turned out to be as hard as ever on both machines and competitors, owing to its bad terrain.
Until now, Suresh Rana and his co-driver PVS Krishnamurthy, from team Maruti Suzuki, have maintained the lead in the Raid in their Grand Vitara. Close on their heels are Sanjay Razdan and Dharampal Jangra. In the X-treme bike category, it was Abdul Wahid Tanveer who led the pack whereas R Nataraj and Rajinder R E finished second and third respectively.
The competitors are now prepping themselves for the final two stages (Kargil – Leh) that will see the survivors limping back to the capital of Ladakh for a well-deserved welcome and the final standings.