Arindam inches closer to Raid de Himalaya crown

Sunday 14th October, 2018

Article Details
Publication  Morning India
Source  Bureau
CCM  73.57
Edition  Kolkata
Supplement   NA
MAV  35,313
Language  English
Page  12
Circulation  12,000

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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 ยข
`` 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 .