'Raid' gets tougher this edition

Shimla, Sep 11 (IANS) The Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya, one of the world's toughest off-road motor rallies, will take two formidable challenges of the Himalayas this season, rally organisers said Wednesday.

"The Raid will conquer Wari La and Khardung La (both in Jammu and Kashmir)," the Himalayan Motorsport Association, the Shimla-based club that annually organises the rally, said in a statement.

Khardung La is located at an elevation of 5,359 metres, while Wari La is at 5,250 metres in Ladakh.

The 15th edition of Raid, which will take off from the state capital Oct 5, will have 45 teams in Raid Xtreme (4x4) and over 45 in Raid Xtreme (motorcycles and motoquads).

Raid Adventure will have 75 teams of speed lovers from all corners of the country, it said.

Raid Xtreme is all about speed, while Raid Adventure follows the TSD (time-speed-distance) format.

It will begin from Shimla and after traversing through difficult stretches of Kaza, Khardung la, Wari la and Nubra Valley, will culminate at Leh.

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

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