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Besides record-holding production of 20 million cars in the past 34 years, Maruti Suzuki has also been a key player in the Indian Motorsports sphere. The company has a long-standing history with Dakshin Dare - the biggest motorsport event in South India. The 10th edition of the rally was flagged off from Bangalore on 2nd September 2018.
Dakshin Dare 2018 witnessed participation of Team Maruti Suzuki Motorsport, and the teams made sure they were all set to conquer one of the toughest rallies in the country. The team came equipped with modified versions of Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and S-Cross.
The Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Dare was a 2,000-kilometer long rally which started in Bangalore and reached its climax in Goa on 8th September 2018. The rally lasted for 5 days with drivers covering some of the most challenging and toughest terrains in South India. Before the rally reached Goa, they had to go through terrains of Karnataka as well as Maharashtra. The drivers tackled some of the most challenging routes with the Western Ghats serving as the backdrop.
Team Maruti Suzuki Motorsport entered the Dakshin Dare 2018 with 4 cars. The team consisted of defending champion Suresh Rana and co-driver Chirag Thakur driving the Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara, Sandeep Sharma and co-driver Anmol Rampal driving the stock engine Maruti Suzuki FWD Vitara Brezza, Samrat Yadav and co-driver Karan Aukta driving the AWD Maruti Suzuki S-Cross, and Dharampal Jangra and co-driver Chandrashekhar Rana driving the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza.
Suresh Rana, Samrat Yadav, and Dharampal Jangra were competing in the T1 Ultimate cars category while Sandeep Sharma competed in the T2 category.
The rally began with a 129-kilometer leg which advanced through a range of rough and rugged terrains. Team Maruti Suzuki Motorsport drivers pushed hard and put up a strong performance throughout. Although Suresh Rana's Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara went through a minor hiccup, he made up for it the very next day by covering a distance of 119.06 kilometers.
The 3rd leg of the Dakshin Dare 2018 witnessed 4 special stages with a total of 89 kilometers against the clock. Team Maruti Suzuki Motorsports' Sandeep Sharma was impressive in his Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, and climbed to the 3rd position. Samrat Yadav and Suresh Rana finished the day in the 5th and 6th position, respectively.
Leg 4 saw the drivers enter Maharashtra - opening ways for further challenges. The 3rd day comprised of 3 special stages with a total distance of 66 kilometers. The main challenge was to adapt the tyres from mud to tarmac. Nonetheless, Maruti Suzuki Motorsport Drivers began their onslaught, and Samrat Yadav moved up to the third position.
The 5th and the last leg of Dakshin Dare 2018 comprised of just 2 stages. Due to bad weather conditions, the 2nd stage had to be cancelled. Samrat Yadav and Karan Aukta passed the finish line 1st and secured the final podium position in the Ultimate category.
With an extended route and grueling terrains, the drivers along with their cars endured the challenges put forward by nature and the rally, head on! Especially, the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, a compact-SUV, performed well throughout the rally.
Team Maruti Suzuki Motorsport comes out more confident with the way their cars performed; especially, the winner of the T2 category - the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, which is one of the best-selling compact-SUVs in India, and has now shown its capabilities in rallies as well.