This year's Dakshin Dare may have been one of the closest contest in the history of the events, with the difference between Samrat Yadav Maruti Suzuki and Suresh Rana’s Grand Vitara coming down to a hair biting 38 seconds with one day to spare. With the monsoon sweeping through Maharashtra and Karnataka, drivers not only had to deal with arduous roads but also limited visibility, rain and mud. However, with one day to spare the reigning champion Suresh Rana and co-driver Ashwin Naik pushed hard through the stages to win the 9th edition of the Dakshin Dare. Using every last drop of his experience and maturity to fend off attacks from a roving Samrat Yadav, the forty-two-year-old veteran finished with a pretty substantial three minutes over Samrat’s Gypsy. Sandeep Sharma, another veteran, the cross country rally driver who had been holding on to his third spot on the grid from the get-go. Behind him was surprise fourth place Harvinder Singh whose last day charge saw him make two places to finish in the fifth position.
The blistering two-wheelers from TVS were, as usual, headliners in the two wheeler rally. With former Dakshin Dare champion R Nataraj taking his second win, ahead of team-mate and motocross champion Abdul Wahid Tanveer following three minutes later. Sanjay Kumar took the third spot on the podium with 6:26:53.
Ultimate car standings: Suresh Rana: 10:11:26
Samrat Yadav: 10:14:52
Sandeep Sharma: 10:24:17
Ultimate bikes standing R Nataraj: 6:12:38
Tanveer Abdul Wahid 6:15:37
Sanjay Kumar: 6:26:53
Images: Maruti Suzuki Motorsport