The longest motorsports rally in India, Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm is also the toughest in the country among North Indian rallies.
Way back in 2003, Northern Motorsport Desert Storm put its first step into the undulating dunes of Thar Desert in Rajasthan. The race back then consisted of Xtreme format, where man and machine were tested to limits and one has to cover the stages in fastest time.
Northern Motorsport Desert Storm continues to be the longest cross country rally in India and the toughest in the desert as competitors battle extreme weather conditions, navigation takes a key role owing to the terrain. The 7 day long rally covers picturesque untouched dunes , dhanis (traditional villages of Rajasthan).
The Desert Storm Rally last year, saw record-breaking participation, bringing together more than 200 rally enthusiasts from India and abroad. This also included the highest number of female participants in a rally in India. The seven-day extreme event covered a distance of 2,100 km from the National Capital Region to Jodhpur, and was divided into four categories – XTreme, NDure, XPlore and Moto – enabling enthusiasts to use vehicles of their choice, suitable to the corresponding terrain and format.
The rally shall run in four formats , Xtreme , Xplore, Endure and Moto , following gives a lowdown on each one of them :
• Xtreme - Open for 4 *4 rally prepared vehicles, this remains the classic format of Desert Storm and challenges the particpant to the maximum as one has to cover the entire rally in fastest time.
• Moto - The category is meant for bikes and tracks are same as that of Xtreme format and runs on fastest time concept. Moto in Desert Storm gets extremely challenging with sand dunes playing it tough on competitors and navigation being a key component.
• Xplore (2 wheel drive) & Endure (4 wheel drive) – the two formats run on a TSD (Time- Speed- Distance) format rally is not a Race. A Road book is provided to Driver and Navigator, which has all the instructions on distances and directions, while a Speed Chart is provided to ascertain ideal speed and time they should move on. Now, the Navigator in a TSD has an important role to play, as he/ she calculates the ideal time to reach at every point as per designated speed, with which they need to move.
The old school formula applies; Speed= Distance/ Time. So, the target of the driver navigator duo is to reach on precise time, reaching earlier or later bot attracts penalty at a time check, which will be placed somewhere on the track.
Next would be what all equipment can we use, yes calculators are allowed, historically only a calculator and roadbook worked, but now with GPS, mobiles and apps coming in, TSD has revamped. Simple GPS applications like Orux (available on Android) and MotionX (available on IPhone) can be used along with a calculator (or special TSD calculators).
The tracks in Desert Storm are handpicked and pass through small picturesque villages and offroad tracks which are challenging, beautiful and will test one’s driving as well as navigational skills. As per difficulty level of tracks, the whole TSD competition in Desert Storm is divided in two categories Xplore (2WD) and Ndure (4WD).
Those who are new to motorsports, Xplore and Ndure are the perfect formats to put the first step into this exciting arena with friends and family with an ordinary 2 wheel/ 4 wheel drive.
For details we request you go through Supplementary Rules of the category you desire to take part.
Groups and Classes
GROUP T1 – Prototype Cross Country Vehicles: 2WD
Class X1 OpenGROUP T1 – Prototype Cross Country Vehicles: 4WD
Class X2 below 1350 cc
Class X3 Over 1350 cc upto 1850 cc
Class X4 Over 1850 ccGROUP T2 – Series Production Vehicles
Class X5 below 1350 cc
Class X6 above 1350 cc GROUP T3 – Improved Cross Country Vehicles – Light-weight.
Class X7 Over 500 cc
Class X8 Over 500 cc Engineering & Student ResearchGROUP T4 – Cross Country Truck
Class X9 below 10,000 cc
Class X10 Over 10,000 cc
MOTO & QUAD
Motorcycles: Group ‘A’:Improved Series Production Motorcycles or ‘Specials’ of International originClass M1 upto 250 cc
Class M2 Above 250 cc upto 450 cc
Class M3 Above 450 cc Motorcycles: Group ‘B’:Improved Series Production Motorcycles of Indian origin using foreign componentsClass M4 upto 250 cc
Class M5 Above 250 cc upto 500 cc
Class M6 Above 500 ccMotorcycles: Group ‘C’:Improved Series Production Motorcycles of Indian origin using Indian componentsClass M7 upto 130 cc
Class M8 Above 130 cc upto 165 cc
Class M9 Above 165 cc upto 210 cc
Class M10 Above 210 cc upto 260 cc
Class M11 Above 260 ccQUAD: GROUP ‘Q’
Class M12 Quad Open