Arindam, Nataraj Win Raid De Himalaya 2018

LEH — Arindam Saikia of Team Polaris and Na­taraj R of Team TVS were crowned the undis­puted champions in the 20th edition of Raid de Himalaya here on Saturday.

Arindam, who jumped ahead on Day 2, hung on to his lead tenaciously for the next two days to claim the Xtreme 4X4 category. He logged a total penalty of 6.32.49 hours.

Nataraj, on the other hand, has been in a class of his own among the bikers, and easily won in the Moto Xtreme. He, in fact, proved to be the fastest competitor in the entire field with total penalty of 4.58.52 hours.

The iconic Raid started from Kargil on October 10 and concluded Saturday with the drivers cop­ing up with extreme cold and demanding terrain across Kargil, Zanskar and Ladakh. 2015 Raid winner Captain AVS Gill, in his Grand Vitara, finished 10.53 minutes behind to take the sec­ond position. Himanshu Arora of Haree Rallying, driving a Gypsy, took the third place. Amitrajit Ghosh of Team Mahindra made a major come­back to claim the fourth place. With Nataraj comprehensively beating the field, others had to settle for the remaining honours. His team­mate Imran Pasha finished with a total penalty of 5.15.21 hours to take the second place.

Vishwas SD finished third while Jatin Jain was fourth. Raid de Himalaya, considered among the top 10 toughest motorsport rallies of the world, is organised by Shimla-based Himala­yan Motorsport, India’s premier motorsport club. Remarkably, both the amputees in fray, Vinod Rawat of Mum­bai and Ashok Munne of Nagpur, finished the Raid successfully with a com­mendable second and third positions in the Group D category, fea­turing stock bikes with no modifications.

Vishal Das of Kol­kata was the winner.

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