Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm Day 4: Aabhishek Mishra and Aaron Mare maintain lead
The fourth day of Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm saw Aabhishek Mishra with co-driver V Venu Rameshkumar driving their Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara in the Xtreme category, who maintained their lead by over 15 minutes with an overall time of 11:15:54 (hours:minutes:seconds). In the Moto category, Aaron Mare on his KTM 450 maintained the lead with an overall time of 7:44:22.
In the Xtreme category, Raj Singh Rathore and his navigator Sagar Mallappa are in second position with an overall time of 11:30:57, while Vikram Jain is in third place clocking a total time of 12:20:21. Aabhishek Mishra (Venu Rameshkumar) cruised through the day (4A) and night stages (4B) of leg 4 to get into the fifth leg which is a short 25km stage. But all was not well for Maruti Suzuki Motorsport as two of its driver duo had trouble during the morning stages. Dharampal Sangra and Harikrishnan, who were driving their four wheel drive Vitara Brezza had trouble with their turbo in the middle of their run. Team mates Sandeep Sharma and Karan Arya driving the 4WD S-Cross suffered radiator damage, which halted their progress.
In the Moto category, the organisers, Northern Motorsports ran three morning stages and cancelled the night stages for the riders considering their safety. While Spanish rider Aaron Mare cruised through the stages and maintained overall lead, Sherco TVS Factory rider Santalino Lorenzo won all the three stages of leg 4 and is in second spot clocking an overall time of 7:49:43. Sanjay Kumar from Angata racing is in third place with an overall time of 8:18:56. Aaron Mare has a lead of more than five minutes over second placed Santolino Lorenzo.
After winning all three stages of leg 4, Lorenzo Santolino, Racer, Sherco TVS Factory Rally Team, said, “It was a good day today, it feels great to have won three special stages of this Rally and I am really enjoying this terrain. I will try my best in the last stage tomorrow but it is a very short stage.”
In the Moto category, lead rider Aaron Mare’s KTM 450 motorcycle was reported to have an internal oil leak and Sanjay Kumar suffered gearbox issues in his bike, which was stuck in third gear. TVS Racing’s AW Tanveer had to retire from the rally due to mechanical issues plaguing his bike.
The fifth and final leg of the rally has a short stage of just 25km and game still open for the other competitors to rise above in the rankings, considering the number of unprecedented events that has unfolded in the last three days.