Rana & Naik maintain lead on Day Two of Desert Storm

Last Updated: Feb 22, 2012, 22:47 PM IST

Jaisalmer: Former champion Suresh Rana, navigated by Ashwain Naik, continued to lead the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm as the second day of the Rally witnessed many up and downs in leadership positions across categories.

While 2009 champion Rana & Naik maintained their position, the combination of Lt Col Subodh Verma & Col Rajesh Singh could not complete the race in the Xtreme Category in the second leg due to engine trouble.

Even in the MotoQuad category, overnight leader Pramod Joshua dropped to third position and the pole position was grabbed by Raj Singh Rathore.

The second day was tough for the participants as the terrain conditions were even more inhospitable than that in the preceding leg. Over 410 km long second leg took off from Bikaner, before hitting the inhospitable sand dunes at `Jalwali` on the outskirts and continued till `Jaimalsar`.

The rally now sees a tough fight for second position between Anwar Khan & Shahdab Pervez and 2010 champion Aabhishek Mishra & Hanuman Singh Sisodia.

The second stage "Thar Express" of the second leg, which started from `Nokhra` and ended at `Baap` pushed the drivers and their machines to the maximum under the windy conditions.

By the time the participants reached Jaisalmer this evening, the tough off-road terrain had sapped the energy levels on most rallyists.

"As Subodh and Rajesh could not complete the race, it has widened the gap between top positions. Rana is mechanically sound and pacing himself well so I don`t expect any major upsets in the later stages of the rally. With each passing day, the rally has become more challenging," said Jayesh Desai, President, Northern Motosports.

PTI