Desert Storm: Rathore fastest overall, Rana cements lead

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 21, 2013 14:30 hrs

New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) Raj Singh Rathore continues to rule the quad category in the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm and clocked the fastest time overall on the tough, challenging Thar terrain on his Polaris RZR 800.

Suresh Rana of Team Maruti upscaled the aggression with his Grand Vitara, leaving Sunny Sidhu of Chandigarh behind by 15.14 minutes on day three of the rally.

Vijay Parmar of Shimla held fort in Xtreme (Moto), and was up by 2.01 minutes over his closest competitor Mohit Verma. The desert challenge, meanwhile, continued to take its toll. Almost 25 per cent of the participants in Rally Xtreme had to bow out of competition after the harsh desert sands burdened their vehicles.

The speed fight was made even more difficult by three competitive stages.

In the Ndure category, which follows the Xtreme route in the Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) format, Parth Beniwala is leading by 1.32 minutes over K. Prasad of Team Maruti. Somdev Chanda of Team Maruti is third in this category, behind Prasad by 47 seconds.

In Rally Xplore, which follows the TSD format on a separate route, Sanjay Takale of Team Maruti is leading by 11 seconds over Satish Gopalkrishnan. At the third place in the Xplore category is Rajesh Chalana of Team Maruti. Chalana is behind Gopalkrishnan by 1.45 minutes.

The rally was flagged off from Delhi Monday with 263 rallyists fighting for top honours.

The competitive stages of the event began from Sardarshahar in Churu district of Rajasthan. The rallyists are taking on the tough challenge of the outback regions of Jaisalmer and Bikaner. The Desert Storm will traverse about 2,200 kilometres and will end at Jaipur Feb 23.

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