Santosh, Rana and Aravind to headline 2016 Desert Storm

The 2016 edition of the Desert Storm is all set to begin with the flag-off ceremony on April 3 in Noida.

Now in its 14th year, the Desert Storm tests both man and machine in the gruelling Thar Desert of Rajasthan for six consecutive days.

The cross-country rally will converse through the towns of Bikaner and Jaisalmer before concluding in Jodhpur after covering 2,000 km.

Like the previous year, a night stage of 160 km will be held on an arduous route, adding to the challenge.

Over 200 participants are expected to take part this year, with nine-time Raid de Himalaya winner Suresh Rana, India’s sole Dakar finisher CS Santosh and multiple-national champion Aravind KP set to headline the event.

The Desert Storm is divided into a total of four categories, namely, XTreme, NDure, Xplore, and Moto.

The Xplore class will allow amateur participants to either complete half the rally or go the full distance by using a new part-participation/flexi-format introduced by Maruti.

This will allow participants to either take part for full six days or opt for a shorter duration - first three days or the last three days.

"Over the years Maruti Suzuki rallies are considered to be at par with international standards," said Vinay Pant, General Manager, Marketing.

"And by introducing new concepts like part-participation/flexi-format in Desert Storm, we are adding innovation and aim to reach out to a wider audience.

"Through the rallies our participants get to explore their talent in off-roading while abiding to the safe driving philosophy," he added.

Along with women participants, it is expected that an Austrian team will also take part in this year's Desert Storm - in the bike category.

Last year, Aabhishek Mishra and Santosh won the Xteme and Moto classes respectively.

2016 Desert Storm Schedule:




Night Halt

April 2-3




April 3


Ceremonial Flag off


April 4


Hanumangarh to Bikaner


April 5


Bikaner to Jaisalmer


April 6-8




April 9




April 10


Prize Distribution


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About this article
Series Indian Rally
Event Desert Storm
Drivers CS Santosh
Article type Preview