As Stage Six of the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm flagged off from Akal village on Thursday,the cold and dark morning put the rigours of cross-country rallying in perspective. Not a spectator sport,the event only highlights the chemistry between man and machine.
The cars break down and technical obstacles come up,testing the limits of endurance of the participants,as Kavi Chotrani would vouch. The Sri Lankan settled in Dubai is participating in his first rally in India,driving a modified 1976 model Prado,and the rest of the drivers are impressed with the efforts he has put in behind his car. It took me two years to give the car its current shape. I have forgotten how much I have spent on it, he says with a smile. About his India experience,he said: I am here on my partner Sanjay Bhandaris insistence and it is turning out to be pretty interesting . Its not about winning; our main aim is to stay focused and finish the rally.
The evening stage started in the Rann of Kutch. Deep inside the sandy terrain,the cars lined up for one big push,breaking the silence. For the record,Suresh Rana maintained his lead at the end of the third day.