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17 Mar
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About Storm

What is the route of this year’s Rally Desert Storm?

The 2017 Storm will be run from the 28th January to the 4th of February 2017. You will be traveling sometime in the day and sometimes at night along an undisclosed route. The night halts are at Bikaner & Jaisalmer. The event ends at Jaisalmer with a grand prize distribution ceremony and a gala ball.

How do I enter the 15th Maruti Suzuki Rally Desert Storm 2017?

You need to download, print & fill the Entry Form, available for download from our website, www.desertstorm.in or collect it from our office.
The entry process is largely self explanatory and detailed notes are available which will further help you fill all the columns correctly and details all the attachments required. Submit the completed form with the required entry fees.
In case of any further clarifications you are welcome to visit our office

How many persons are allowed in each car ?

There have to be a minimum of 2 persons in each car. For 3 or more crew per car the Entry Fee stands doubled. More than 4 crew per car are NOT permitted.

What does the entry fee include?

The entry fees include an opportunity for the crew to participate in the Maruti Suzuki Rally Desert Storm 2017 with

One set of Road Books, Route Maps.
An invitation for the driver and co-driver to the Prize Distribution function and Rally Ball.
Basic accommodation only for the Driver & Co Driver at the Night Halt for the leg that the start has been taken.

What does “TSD” stands for?

TSD stand for “Time”, “Speed” & “Distance”. Refer to our separate section for a detailed explanation.

Can I use a GPS ?

Yes, In fact we would giving GPS tracks for some sections of the event and a lack of a GPS can be a great disadvantage. You are also free to use any kind of calculator, speed charts etc. Computers and Laptops are not advised as they constitute loose objects in the cabin and can cause injury in case of an accident.

Can I participate even if I do not have a Maruti vehicle?

Yes, the event is open to all cars of any make and model.

What happens if my car gets stuck in middle of nowhere?

We are there to look after you. We will help you get to the nearest repair point, but this will entail a delay and you will loose points or you might have to drop out. Stay with the car till the “sweep” official reaches you.

What is difference between XTREME, NDURE & XPLORE ?

The routes followed by each are different. XTREME and NDURE will go through a much more challenging and rougher route where 4 wheel drive vehicles are essential.
The emphasis of the XTREME is on speed. The test is of the drivers and navigators skill and endurance. The vehicles participating in the XTREME would require many more safety modifications.

Do I need any special changes to my car?

For Xplore & Ndure NO, just ensure that your car is in proper running condition.

Can I make special changes to my car?

Yes, but they are really not required and will not be of any great help.

Can I bring my family along?

Sure, Up to 4 persons can participate per vehicle. But sorry we will not allow infants or children below 18 years of age.

What is a “FMSCI” license and how do I get it?

FMSCI licence is issued by the national sporting authority i.e. Federation of Motorsports Clubs of India and certifies the holder to participate in any Motorsport activity. You require a regular drivers and entrant licence, the procedure is extremely easy.

Just download the form from our website or from www.fmsci.in.
Fill in the form; get your regular doctor to fill out the basic form.
Send the form with the fees to FMSCI or to us.

What is “Rally insurance”? Where do I get it?

A personal accident policy of at least Rs. 5 lacs and including hospitalization benefits which is extended to cover “HIGH RISK” Table-3. This can be provided by any insurance agent. It is important to note that NORMAL MOTOR POLICIES ISSUED IN INDIA DO NOT PROVIDE COVER FOR RALLYING. A special Rally Insurance can be taken with a payment of an additional fees from the company where your vehicle is already insured

I do not have a driving license / My driving license has expired?

Sorry, Complete valid documentation of the driver and the car is essential to participate.

How much driving will be I be expected to do in a day?

Anywhere from 8 to 18 hours covering 300 to 700 kms every day.

Will we be driving at “high speeds”?

No! At no point will you be required to exceed the legal speed limit.

What is the rally route like? Will we also go off road? Is there any chance of my car getting damaged?

A majority of the time you will be on National & State highways. Some off road sections have been included to test your skills and increase your enjoyment; however, these have been carefully selected to ensure that they are not excessively rough or dangerous

Who are my competitors?

Like minded – Adventure loving people like you from all walks of life. They love driving and adventure. An opportunity to make great friends.

Are there any special driving tips?

Please refer to our sand driving tips article.

What if any of my crew member falls ill?

Two specialized Life Saving Ambulances will be accompanying the entire rally. They will be assisted by 4~5 smaller ambulances along the route. All officials and the doctors are connected by wireless. So just find the nearest rally official and he will take over from there.

Will we drive at night also?

Night driving is very much part of the plan. Some days will start very early and some nights you will just keep driving.

Are free zones and free run same?

Free Zones is term used in a TSD rally to signify to the competitor a zone in which no Time Controls will exist. This means that in the area the competitor may stop and or go fast before taking a break. As explained in an earlier FAQ the purpose of free zone is to give a rest to competitor while he is still under the TSD regulations. Typically during free zones speeds given are very low in order for competitors to be able to snatch a small rest stop without loosing time or incurring penalties.

Free Run on the other hand is typically given from the last control point to the end of leg. Again during the free run there is assurance of no time controls and the time of reaching the end is also not specified. This is typically used to allow time to competitors to fuel up and stock up before checking in to the night halt.

So at end of Free Zone you are still running under TSD format and time calculations apply. In case of free run no penalties apply and you can check in early.

Storm Preparation Tips

So what should you expect for the Storm ’17?

We can not reveal all at this point of time but we can share hindsight with you to help you prepare for the unexpected.

First and foremost is the traditional motto of Storm : “Sweat and grind during the day and luxury and relaxation after sundown.” The participants are put through tough sandy and barren sections with challenges thrown at them at virtually every turn. Unexpected dunes and rocky terrain are all mixed with thorn scrub and greenery around oasis. Then after a full day’s grind come the rest halts at majestic and imposing heritage properties unique to the Indian Thar Desert. Luxury accommodations that are famous for pampering their guests. Inviting pools of water and chilled drinks with sumptuous food spread. This will continue to be the theme.

Secondly the last few Storms have broken that hospitality and relaxation tradition a tiny-weeny bit by introducing killing night sections. These are looked at with dread by the veteran rallyists. Post the event once the panic has subsided, the response was overwhelmingly in favor of keeping this in the schedule. So expect more night runs this year.

Thirdly we are going to increase the “endurance” challenge by clubbing already long sections in to one or two huge stages per day. Choice of speed versus safety is entirely up to participants but just be forewarned. The long section do come interspersed with “speed zones” where you are restricted to low speeds while passing through villages and hamlets. The longest stage this year is going to be in the region of 300 kilometers…… something very few current ralliest have experienced.

Fourth element that will test you utmost would be increased stress on “dead on” navigation. Especially when you are running in near proximity and parallel to the borders of the country, on a trackless expanse of Great Thar Desert, you’d better not stray in the wrong direction!

Fifth suggestion would be to prepare your self physically and mentally to cope with increased length of the event. The length would increase both in number of days & nights run and distance to be run.

Sixth be prepared to wade into deep sand & push, pull and cajole your reluctant beast. The gloves are off this year and expect  deep sand and huge dunes.

That said, at end of the day it is man and his machine which are put to real test. In the past we had people off the competition as the had run out of fuel, had radiators boiled over, had more than one puncture, had a dead battery, had a blown gasket, had…………

The list is varied and endless but the common theme – they were not prepared.

In the calm before the Storm , prepare for the worst.

Sand Driving Tips

Momentum is the key : The fundamental rule of driving on sand is to conserve your momentum. Since traction is at a premium, any increase in speed can be difficult, if not impossible, and you do not want to lose any momentum, as you may not be able to regain it.

Tire Pressures

The first thing to do before driving on sand is to lower your tire pressures. This is done to provide better flotation by increasing the size of your “footprint” and thus dramatically improving your traction. It also reduces the amount of strain on your vehicle and minimizes wear and tear on the tracks.

The optimum tire pressure depends on your vehicle, the type of tires fitted and the terrain. The following technique provides a good starting point to find the optimum pressure and is best performed before leaving the bitumen.

Park your loaded vehicle on a level surface and place a brick 1 cm away from the sidewall of your rear tire. Deflate that tire until the sidewall just touches the brick and then measure the tire pressure. Use this pressure as your starting point when initially lowering your tire pressure for sand driving. As you become more familiar with sand driving, you con alter this pressure as the terrain dictates.

If you haven’t performed the above technique before you reach the sand, don’t fret. A good rule of thumb is to use a pressure of 15 psi.

                        Remember : if you are going to lower your tire pressures, ensure you have a pressure gauge and some means of pumping your tires back up.

As you lower tire pressure, the tire becomes more vulnerable to damage by stoking the sidewall or rolling the tire off the rim. The lower the pressure, the higher the risk. However the gain in traction can be remarkable and may make the difference between becoming hopelessly bogged or simply driving away. The “correct” tire pressure becomes a decision between better traction versus increased risk of tire damage.

In severe cases of bogging, tire pressure can be lowered to a minimum of 40 kPa (6psi), as most tires require at least 6psi to remain seated on the rim while stationary. In almost all situations 10psi should be used as the minimum pressure as 6psi is likely to result in tire damage ie. tires rolled off rims or punctured sidewalls. Speeds should be severely restricted at these low pressures. To minimize tire damage, it is important that these low pressures are only used on sand and tire pressures should be increased if limestone or rocky outcrops are encountered, or when the terrain becomes more firm. Failure to do so will almost certainly result in tire or rim damage.

Sand Driving Techniques

When traveling on sand, you should endeavor to follow in the tire tracks of the vehicle in front as they have already compressed the sand to form a firmer surface than un-traversed ground. Never drive on vegetation as this will destroy it and lead to erosion and environmental damage.

You should avoid rapid changes in speed when accelerating or braking. Braking on sand will cause a mound to build up in front of all wheels and possibly prevent your vehicle from taking off. Rapid acceleration simply digs the wheels in and can actually lead to slower take-off speeds.

Take-off should be performed as smoothly as possible with gear changes done at fairly high revs. Sand driving requires plenty of engine power to get your vehicle “planing” on the sand. It is advisable to use low range as this multiplies the amount of engine torque available and will provide that extra gear if you encounter a particularly soft patch of sand. Check that your tires are pointing straight ahead when taking off to reduce the takeoff effort required.

When stopping on sand, depress the clutch and allow the vehicle to coast to a stop. This will minimize any sand build-up in front of the wheels. If the terrain permits, coast to a stop, rather than braking, with the vehicle pointing downhill as this will aid take-off. Avoid the soft sand at the base of most dunes and gullies when stopping.

When turning, make the turn as wide as possible to reduce the chance of bogging. Your front wheels act more like a rudder in sand and turning too sharp has a similar effect to applying the brakes.

Steep sand dunes can be traversed only straight up or down. If you drive even on a slight angle, the weight transfer is to the downhill side wheels. If the vehicle starts to slip, the downhill wheels tend to dig in and make the angle of the dune even worse, leading to a potential rollover.

If you are traveling straight down a steep dune and the back end starts to slip sideways, it is best to accelerate slightly to try and straighten the vehicle. Never use the brake, as this will cause weight transfer to the front wheels and can increase the back end movement.

If traveling up a dune and you do not get to the top, reverse down the dune in gear, NEVER coast down the dune and NEVER attempt a U turn.

Vehicle Recovery in Sand

As soon as you become bogged, avoid the temptation to simply floor the accelerator as this will just make vehicle recovery more difficult. Put the vehicle in reverse and gently try to back along your tracks as they provide a compacted path. When you have reversed a sufficient distance, try going forward again while being careful not dig yourself in. Hopefully you will travel further each time you repeat this technique and eventually be able to slowly pass through a particularly soft section.

If you cannot reverse out of trouble, get out of the vehicle and let your tires down further. A rule of thumb is to drop them by a further 12 psi. Before trying to reverse out, remove the build-up of sand from behind the tires. See if any part of the underside is touching. If it is, clear the sand away to allow the vehicle to reverse out. You may need to try this several times.

If necessary, continue to drop the tire pressures to 10 psi. Also, never underestimate the assistance of your passengers giving a push. As mentioned earlier, tires can be lowered to 6psi in extreme cases, but this should be avoided if other means of vehicle recovery are available.

If you are still stuck and your tires are down to the minimum pressure, you will have to resort to a snatch strap, winching or jacking to extricate yourself. The easiest method is usually by snatch strap, but this relies on another vehicle being present. If you are by yourself you will have to resort to winching (if you have one!) or jacking.

  • Maintain Momentum
  • Drive smoothly : Avoid sudden acceleration & braking
  • Lower tire pressures to greatly improve traction and reduce track erosion
  • Ensure wheels are pointing straight ahead when taking off
  • Avoid the soft sand at the base of dunes and gullies
  • Make turns as wide as possible
  • ONLY travel straight up or down dunes
  • Follow in others tire tracks to drive on compressed ground
  • Avoid braking by coasting to a stop
  • Do not floor the accelerator if you are bogging down
  • When bogged, try to reverse on your own tracks

17 March 2018: Saturday

At Great India Place, Noida

0800 hrs ~ 1900 hrs    Administrative Checks & Scrutineering (As per Schedule)
0800 hrs Opening of registration for Service Vehicles & Service Personnel
0900 hrs.  Opening of Media Centre& Media Accreditation

18 March 2018: Sunday

At Great India Place, Noida

  • 0800 hrs.  Continuation of Admin Checks & Scrutineering (As per Schedule) .
  • 1100 hrs.  End of Administrative Checks
  • 1200 hrs.  End of Scrutineering (As per Schedule)
  • 1400 hrs.  Close of registration for Service Vehicles & Service Personnel.

At Hotel Radisson Blu, Sector 18, Noida 

  • 1200 hrs.  Compulsory Drivers Briefing (Ndure & Xplore)
  • 1300 hrs.  Compulsory Drivers Briefing (Xtreme, Moto & Quad)
  • 1430 hrs  Press Conference
  • 1700 hrs.  1st Stewards Meeting

At Great India Place, Noida

1600 hrs.  Ceremonial Start

19 March 2018: Monday

At Hotel Laxmi Niwas, Bikaner, Rajasthan

1500 hrs.  Start of Leg 1
2300 hrs.   End of Leg 1

20 March 2018: Tuesday

At Hotel Laxmi Niwas, Bikaner, Rajasthan 

0700 hrs  Start of Leg 2

At Hotel Marriot, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
2000 hrs.  End of Leg 2

21 March 2018: Wednesday

At Hotel Marriot, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

0700 hrs.  Start of Leg 3
1800 hrs.  End of Leg 3

22 March 2018: Thursday

At Hotel Marriot, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

0600 hrs.  Start of Leg 4
1500 hrs.  End of Leg 4
2200 hrs  Start of Leg 5

23 March 2018: Friday

At Hotel Marriot, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

0300 hrs.  End of Leg 5
1200 hrs.  Start of Leg 6
1600 hrs.  End of Leg 6 & Podium Ceremony
1700 hrs.  Publication of the Provisional Final Classification & Final Scrutineering
2000 hrs.  Prize Giving & Rally Ball

1ST 10 30K PLUS 5K PLUS 10K
11-15 40K PLUS 5K PLUS 10K

Team Entry

Team Type Team Fee Participant’s Fee
Manufacturer 3,00,000 INR Double of entry fee as per current fee slot
Club Entry 10,000 Entry Fee as per current fee slot + 5000


A/c Name Northern Motorsport
A/c No. 197205500130
Branch : Noida 51


March 17, 2018
March 23, 2018
Event Category:


Bikaner, India + Google Map


Northern Motorsport

About Us


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 Desert Storm Rally last 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 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

Phone:   +91 8527111222
Email:     info@motorsport.in
Address: F- 8 & 9, Sector 8,
Noida-201 301 INDIA

For Entries & Admin Queries

Mr. Manish Kumar

For Partnership Queries

Mr. Karan Saxena
Mob: 9910794781
Email: karan@motorsport.in

Desert Storm