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C S Santosh maintains lead in Desert Storm

Jaisalmer, Feb 27 (IANS) Suresh Rana (co-driver Parminder Kaur) and C.S. Santosh extended their leads in the Xtreme (four-wheelers) and Moto (two-wh ...

Santosh has been in top form

Jaisalmer, Feb 27 (IANS) Suresh Rana (co-driver Parminder Kaur) and C.S. Santosh extended their leads in the Xtreme (four-wheelers) and Moto (two-wheelers) at the end of the third day of the 13th Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm cross-country rally here Friday.

Rana, a three-time champion representing Team Maruti, clocked eight hours, 24 minutes and 48 seconds, for a five-minute lead over Abhishek Mishra (P.V.S. Murthy) of Team Speedsport while Harpreet Bawa (Ashwin Naik) was lying third.

The tough terrains of Thar Desert took a heavy toll on the vehicles as out of the 40 cars that started from New Delhi in the XTreme category, only 25 have survived the competition so far with two more days remaining.

Bengaluru's Santosh, the defending champion astride a Suzuki RMX 450, was comfortably placed and well clear of two KTM riders Jes David and Mohit Verma with the trio nursing their positions through testing conditions.

National TSD Rally champions Karthik Maruti and navigator Sankar Anand from Erode were leading in the Xplore category that is being run on the Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) format.

Provisional classification:

Xtreme: Suresh Rana / Parminder Kaur (Team Maruti, Grand Vitara) 1 (08hrs, 24mins, 48secs); Abhishek Mishra / PVS Murthy (Team Speedsport, Grand Vitara) 2 (08 hrs, 29mins, 27secs); Harpreet Bawa / Ashwin Naik (Team Speedsport, Grand Vitara) 3 (08:46:28).

Moto-Quad: CS Santosh (Team Maruti, Suzuki RMX 450) 1 (04:06:54) 1; Jes David (KTM Duke 390) 2 (04:42:16); Mohit Verma (KTM Duke 390) 3 (04:56:16); Vijay Parmar (KTM 450 EXC) 4 (05:44:37).

Ndure (TSD format, Day 3): Somdeb Chanda / Neerav Mehta (Maruti Gypsy, Penalty 01:50:18) 1; Ajgar Ali / Mohd Mustafa (Grand Vitara, 01:51:02) 2; Vishnu Singh / Adithya Anthony (Grand Vitara, 01:70:07) 3.

XPlore Cars (TSD format, Day 3): Kartik Maruti / Sankar Anand (01:47:41) 1; Subham Midha / Abhinav Kalra (01:50:02) 2; Anubhab De / Chandan Sen (01:54:45) 3.

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