Rana wins third title, Verma takes his first at Desert Storm

Twenty-two-year old Mohit Verma was trailing Vijay Parmar by three seconds in the Moto-Quad category of the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm on Saturday. At the end of the day Verma was all smiles as he emerged winner with a margin of 23 seconds over Parmar and lifted the title in his maiden Desert Storm rally. Verma finished with an overall time of eleven hours, fifty nine minutes and 14 seconds.

"I was very nervous at the start of the leg. I had to cut down the lead from 10 seconds to three but the overnight rains had made driving difficult. I am happy to have conquered the conditions," Verma said.

Verma started racing in 2008. A year later Verma won the Alpine category during the Raid De Himalaya before winning the Sjoba Rally in 2011. Last year the young biker topped the Mughal rally before claiming the title in the Indian bike category in the Raid De Himalaya.

"It was my first rally in the desert. I had never competed on sand. It was a challenge to track the route," Verma said.

Team Maruti's Suresh Rana bagged his third Desert Storm title (four-wheeler category) with a time of 12 hours, 15 minutes and 27 seconds. Sunny Sidhu of Chandigarh claimed the second spot, while Lohit Urs was third.

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