Rana-Naik set to win Raid de Himalaya

Leh, Oct 11 (IANS) The 15th edition of Raid-de-Himalaya came to an end Friday with Suresh Rana and Ashwin Naik (co-driver) of Team Maruti Suzuki continuing their lead in X-Treme cars category. The winners will be announced Saturday after the post-event scrutiny and result verification.

In the sixth and final leg Friday, Rana and Naik maintained the lead with the best time.

Amanpreet Ahluwalia/Venu Ramesh who were leading on day one, and had maintained the second spot over next four days, did not finish the rally owing to engine failure. Sanjay Agarwal/Shiv Prakash, who were fourth at the end of leg five, had the second best timing Friday and moved ahead of Harpreet Bawa/Kashyap.

In X-Treme bikes category, the spots remained unchanged with Austrian Helmut Frauwallner in lead followed by Stephan Rausch from Germany and R. Nataraj. The Adventure Trial vehicles were yet to arrive at the time of writing.

Meanwhile, out of the 75 cars, bikes and scooters that had entered the competition, only 29 finished including of all five participants in the newly-created Scooters category. In the Adventure Trial category, a remarkable 41 made it through the final leg out of 62 cars.

The competitors went through a loop of 225 km around Leh, the district headquarter of Ladakh. The vehicles Friday covered Leh-Karu-Sakthi-Wari, La-Thangar-Agham-Khalsar-North, Pollu-Khardung La-South Pollu and back to Leh.

A total of 153 cars and bikes had entered the Raid this year, the highest number of entries so far.

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