New Delhi: Around 280 drivers on Monday started an adventurous six-day journey through tough terrains of Thar desert, the rocky and uncertain slopes of Aravalli and the slippery sands of the Rann of Kutch, after the 10th Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm Rally flagged off from here.

The Desert Storm, organised jointly by Maruti Suzuki and Northern Motorsports, was flagged off by Maruti Suzuki Chief General Manager (Marketing) Shashank Srivastava.

For the first time, the rally, which is considered one of the toughest motorsports event of the country, would see the introduction of `Truck` category.

Four huge AMW trucks will compete in the ENDURE category. As many as 143 vehicles, including 4-wheel drive SUVs, Gypsys, two-wheelers and trucks will be seen in action this week, traversing the interiors of Rajasthan and along the Gujarat coastline.

The participants will cover a distance of over 3500 kilometres during the rally. The rallyists will compete against each other on the TSD (Time Speed Distance) format (barring Xtreme category) to cover the challenging distance.

The competition is split into three categories -- XTREME, XPLORE and NDURE. The Xtreme category has attracted the highest number of entries, 48.

In terms of the route, the rally has done a 180 degree flip by starting from New Delhi as compared to Ahmedabad in the previous edition.

The journey builds on the night rallying experience, introduced last year, by integrating the concept in the first leg itself.