Sohail will compete in the Adventure class, an all-out speed category, Shimla-based Himalayan Motorsport Association (HMA) president Vijay Parmar said. The rally will have 50 competitors in Rally Moto (motorcycles and quads), 41 teams in Rally Xtreme (4X4) and 51 teams in Rally Adventure. Each team in the Xtreme (4X4) category and the adventure category comprises a driver and a navigator.

Rally Adventure follows the TSD (Time-Speed-Distance) format and is considered to be the safer option for rallying while the Xtreme category is an all-out speed category and a high-risk sport. Raid de Himalaya is one of the two Indian motorsport events listed on the off-road rally calendar of international automobile and motorbike federations -- FIA and FIM. Only 12 international motoring events worldwide are listed in this calendar.

After flag off from Shimla Oct 4, the rally will pass through Manali, Kunzum Pass, Kaza, Komik, Dhankar, Gramphoo, Darcha, Sarchu, Debring, Daat, Keylong and will finally culminate in Manali Oct 10. The prize distribution ceremony will be held in Manali Oct 11. The rally will cover about 1,650 km through harsh and difficult terrain at 4,000m above sea level and will cross 11 mountain passes. The Raid would pass through some areas where temperature dips below 20 degrees Celsius.

Due to the recent floods in Jammu and Kashmir the rally route was revised to facilitate the ongoing relief and rescue efforts. For his navigator, Sohail picked Pune's Rahul Sancheti, who ranks among the top motorsport navigators in the country for TSD rallying. Sancheti, 42, has earlier ranked first in the TSD categories of 2010 Raid de Himalaya and 2011 Desert Storm, two of the highest ranked rallies in the country.


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