200 officials, 70 mobile radio stations and 11 safety vehicles will be deployed for 2018 Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm

Route mapped with 12,000 GPS waypoints.

New Delhi, March 13: It’s not just the competitors who have to deal with the challenges of cross-country rallying. Away from the spotlight, the organisers of rally-raid work tirelessly for months even before the first car comes under the starter’s order to ensure a smooth event.
For an event like the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm, which runs four different categories such as the Xtreme, Moto, Ndure and Xplore, concurrently, detailed mapping of the logistics plays a vital role.
“Not many people know the amount of man hours that goes into planning out the different aspects of a rally in great detail. Every year we have deal with new challenges. The fact that rally-raids follow a progressive format, moving from one town to another requires seamless coordination between various teams handling different aspects of the rally,” explains Jayesh Desai, co-founder Northern Motorsports.
For the smooth running of the 2018 Maruti Suzuki Deser Storm, 200 officials of Northern Motorsports are involved in handling the sporting side of the rally, coordinating with the local authorities such as the local police and the BSF, local fire department, Rajasthan tourism department, hospitality, medical evacuation and setting up a VHF radio communication network.
It all starts with mapping out the route, which is initiated almost six months before the start of the event. After that a detailed recce is conducted to map the entire route on GPS. It’s followed up by a second recce that’s done about a month before the rally to recheck the route. In all for this year’s Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm 12,000 waypoints have been marked out. This information is used to make the roadbooks, which is the navigator’s best friend out there in the wilderness.
This year with 250 participants and almost 150 people, who will be part of various assistance crews, the organisers will be operating on the limit. It’s expected that around 1,400 room nights will be consumed between March 17th and March 23red.
On the medical side, six Medical Intervention Vehicles (MIV) with trained paramedics, two Life Saving Ambulances (LSA) with doctors and three patient transfer vehicles will be deployed. Most of the equipment in the MIVs is FIA certified.
In a rally-raid a robust communication network is essential for ensuring participant safety and tracking the progress of the rally. This year, a total of 70 mobile radio station equipped with VHF radio sets will be deployed. To add another layer of participant safety, all competition vehicles will be equipped with a GPS/GSM tracking system. It also has a SOS switch that will enable the participants to communicate with the rally base in case of an incident inside the stage. The additional advantage of this system is that it will also allow the fans to track the progress of the competitors by clicking on the Live Tracking link on desertstorm.in website. This link will be activated before the start of the first stage.


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Since the year 1998, Maruti Suzuki Motorsports has been fuelling the adrenaline of adventurous rally drivers and has been promoting motorsports in India for 18 years. The Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm Rally this year, saw record-breaking participation, bringing together more than 200 rally enthusiasts from India and abroad. This also included the highest number of female participants (13 participants including three all-women teams) in a rally in India. The seven-day extreme event covered a distance of 2,100 km from the National Capital Region to Jodhpur, and was divided into four categories — XTreme, NDure, XPlore and Moto — enabling enthusiasts to use vehicles of their choice, suitable to the corresponding terrain and format

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Northern Motorsport

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Mr. Karan Saxena
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