Raid-de-Himalaya 19th edition flag-off on Oct 8

NEW DELHI: The 19th edition of the Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya - billed as one of the toughest off-road motor rallies in the world - gets underway on October 8 with over 125 motorists registered.

The six-day event stretches across 2,400 km on some of the toughest and highest motorable roads in the world and the rallyists will have to cover 300 to 350 kilometres in a day on average.

“The ‘Raid’ will be flagged off from Manali on October 8. It will pass through Manali, Kaza, Pang, Leh, Kargil via Pansi la, Drass and Sankhoo before culminating at Leh,” Himalayan Motorsport Association vice-president Manjeev Bhalla told IANS here.

HMA, a member of the Federation of Motorsport Clubs of India, has been organising the ‘Raid’ since 1999.

The rally will zoom through the gruelling, harsh, inhospitable but picturesque terrains of Pang, Kargil and Leh in Ladakh region, as also pass through the toughest stretches leading to Tanglangla (17,480 feet) on the third day of the rally, the newswire further reports.

The ‘Raid’ is open to professionals as well as amateur motorsport lovers. It runs in two categories: X-treme and adventure trial.

The ‘Raid X-treme’, which runs a marathon format with special stages sometimes longer than 100 kilometres, is all about speed, while the adventure category follows the TSD (time-speed-distance) format.

The Raid-de-Himalaya is the only Asian motor sport event listed in the off-road rallies calendar of the Switzerland-based Federation Internationale Motorcyclisme (FIM), which captures the attention of the international rallying circuit.