Desert Storm to kick off Monday

Last Updated: Sun, Feb 17, 2013 13:00 hrs

New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) Tuesday onwards it will be time for the battle of quads and motos in the wild outback of Rajasthan as champion bikers vie for top honours at the 11th Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm.

Polaris, the world's leader in off-road vehicles, will participate in the Desert Storm, which is being organised Feb 18-23. It will be flagged off from the national capital.

The off-road competition begins from Sardarshahar in Churu district of Rajasthan Tuesday. The six-day marathon cross-country rally is among the most awaited events in the Indian motorsports calendar.

In quads, desertman Raj Singh Rathore is expected to be the top favourite riding the Polaris RZR 800. He is pitted against his own teammate Brandon Dean Glissmeyer, who has been a motocross biker in the United States. Glissmeyer is also winner of the prestigious SAE Mini Baha at Kansas in 2000 and has been riding a Polaris for over ten years.

Leading the Polaris team is managing director Pankaj Dubey, who is also riding the Polaris RZR 800.

"I recorded the fastest stage on my Polaris in the Desert Storm 2012 and also at the Maruti Suzuki 14th Raid de Himalaya. I'm looking at recording the fastest stage this year too," said Rathore.

The event is among the few cross-country motorsport rallies in the world that boasts of night-driving. This year, the rally will traverse about 2,200 km and pass through the vast stretches of the Thar Desert in the outback regions of Jaisalmer and Bikaner.

Each February, over 250 motorsport enthusiasts from all over the country participate to compete in the diverse categories of the event such as Xtreme, Moto, Ndure and Xplore.

Xtreme and MotoQuad categories are based solely on the fastest timing. The Ndure and Xplore categories follow a Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) format.

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