Mohali resident Amartej Buwal has bagged the top spot at the 16th Maruti Suzuki Raid de Himalaya that concluded in Manali on Friday. He covered around 2,200 km over six days in his Maruti Gypsy.
Buwal topped the Raid Xtreme (4X4) event with a time score of 10:35: 41 (ten hours, 35 minutes and 41 seconds). Captain Ajay Vir Singh Gill lost the top position to Buwal by under two minutes and ranked second. Karan Jung of Sitarganj, Uttarakhand was third in this category with a time-score of 10:50:10. Both Capt Gill and Jung too were driving a Maruti Gypsy.
Buwal admitted that with Suresh Rana and Abhishek Mishra crashing out of the Raid on day 5, he knew his time had come. “From the first day itself, I was gunning for the top spot. I am happy that my perseverance paid off. In all these years, this is only the second Raid that I have been able to complete,” Buwal said, whose earlier best finish in the event was third position in 2009.
Chandigarh wins Raid Adventure
Jagmeet Gill of Chandigarh, with navigator Chandan Sen, has scored a hat-trick by standing first-overall in Raid Adventure, again driving a Maruti Gypsy. The second position in the event was bagged by Subir Roy of Kolkata with navigator Neerav; Ashish Budhia of Ranchi stood third with navigator Arindam Ghosh.
Raid de Himalaya ran into rough weather with heavy snowfall at Kunzum La leading to the competitive stages on day 4.Bollywood celebrity Sohail Khan was also one of the participants at the rally. “The event is a life-changer. I have been bitten by the rally bug,” he said.