Ahmedabad: Team Thunderbolt’s Suresh Rana  won the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm title for the second time in his career after pipping his nearest rival Gaurav Chiripal by a healthy margin of 20 minutes and 14 seconds in the Xtreme Category here on Saturday.

The 2009 champion Rana, navigated by Ashwin Naik, always remained ahead of the pack braving the tough terrains of Thar, rocky slopes of Jalwali and slippery sands of Rann of Kutch.

The combination of Chiripal and Nikhil Pai came second in their Grand Vitara while the duo of Lohit Urs and PVS Murthy, driving the Mahindra XUV 500, beat 2010 champions Aabhishek Mishra and Hanumant Singh for the third position. 

Meanwhile, Satish Gopalakrishnan and Saviera D’Souza won the title in the NDure category. In the Xplore category, Team Tata’s MD Ganesh Moorthy, navigated by T Nagarajan, emerged champions. The category was competed on a Time Speed Distance (TSD) format.

 The six-day Rally, which covered a total distance of 3,500 km before culminating here, was participated by around 280 drivers. During the challenging journey, the drivers proved their mettle while negotiating the tough off-road terrains in the interiors of Rajasthan and along the Gujarat coastline.

The Rally traversed through the rugged and demanding terrains of Sardarshahar, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Bhuj, Rann of Kutch after being flagged off from New Delhi on January 20. 

Results: Xtreme Category: Suresh Rana/ Ashwin Naik 1; Gaurav Chiripal/ Nikhil Pai 2; Lohit Urs/ PVS Murthy 3. NDure: Satish Gopalakrishnan/Saviera D’Souza 1; Jagmeet Gill/ Chandrashekhar 2; M Xplore: Ganesh Moorthy/ T Nagarajan 1; Rajesh Chalana/ Pradeep Kumar 2; Moto/Quad: Raj Singh Rathore 1; R Natraj 2.

(Agencies)