Arindam inches closer to Raid de Himalaya crown
, KARGIL : Arindam Saikia of Team Polaris was within striking distance of the 20th Raid de Himalaya crown , building up a substantial 15-minute lead by the end of Day 3 here on Friday .
Captain A.V.S . Gill , driving a Grand Vitara , was valiantly chasing the leader but he literally has a mountain to climb as the Raid veered towards an exciting finish . Himashu Arora of Harjee Rallying was right on Gill 's tail though , just 53 seconds behind him .
The third day of the iconic rally featured its longest stage , sailing past snow - covered tracks . The competitors started from Sankoo in Kargil valley and raced towards Umba La , a mountain pass at an elevation of 4,496 meter .
`` Over the Jast 20 years , we have cancelled many competitive stages due to heavy Snowfall . In fact , a couple of times
the entire Raid was called off Vijay Parmar , president of Himalayan Motorsports , the organisers , said .
`` On Friday , too , it snowed heavily . But we discovered that we could still run the stage . We could nt complete it but we managed 30 out of the 54 kilo m teres that were scheduled , The rally ists - had to contend THE THIRD DAY OF THE ICONIC RALLY FEATURED ITS LONGEST STAGE , SAILING PAST snow - covered TRACKS . THE COMPETITORS STARTED FROM SANKOO IN KARGIL VALLEY AND RACED TOWARDS UMBA LA , A MOUNTAIN PASS AT AN ELEVATION OF 4,496 METER .
with -11 degrees celsius temperature , '' Parmar added . Giving first - hand account of the
day , Parmar said Saikia was in
: his elements .
`` His Polaris ran flawlessly
over the snow , allowing him to dominate the day . He has a huge lead now and if his car holds on and he can hang on to the lead , he is sure win the 2018 Raid , '' he predicted .
Team Mahindra had another bad day though , with both Amittrajit Ghosh and Phillipos Matthai losing valuable time due to punctures
The duo were in the lead after Day 1 , but since then luck has not been on their side , all but pushing them out of contention .
In the Xtreme Moto category , R. Nataraj of Team TVS continued to lead by 13.05 minute over team - mate Imran Pasha . S.D , Vishwas , too , held on to his overnight third position , another 9.15 miri ute behind ¢
`` Nataraj has been a class
apart in this Raid . His control
over the bike on ice , snow and dirt tracks has been impeccable , '' Parmar explained Meanwhile , Abrar bin Ayub of Kashmir won the Alpine category , finishing the competition with a slender lead of 4.49 minute over his closest competi tor .
Ayub was riding a Hero Impulse . Syed Asif Ali of Team TVS , driving an N-Torq scooter took the second place .