Raid de Himalaya 2018 is all set to kick off on 10th October and this year, it is expected to be a tad more challenging than its previous editions owing to a new track. The 20th edition of the world's highest cross-country motorsport challenge will traverse through some of the most challenging roads of Kargil, Zanskar, and Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. This year's Raid will include a section from Lamayuru, called the Moonland of Ladakh, to Photoksar - which is a new inclusion in the rally's track.
The route that includes Lamayuru to Photoksar is a newly-upgraded road that leads into Zanskar and which used to be a mule track. Crossing the Sirisir La at a height of 4,805 metres above sea level, the Raid De Himalaya is going to enter uncharted territories this year. The rally has been cut short from six to four days now.
The toughest motorsport in India and one of the most difficult in the world, Raid De Himalaya was first organised in 1999 with only 16 participants. Over the years the rally has built a strong reputation witnessing over 150 teams in 2017.
Since 2001, Maruti Suzuki had been providing financial support to the rally for nearly two decades but this year Maruti has exited as Raid de Himalaya's title sponsor. On the other hand, Mahindra will be competing in the Raid for the first time in several years.
This year's Raid will traverse through Umba La, a high mountain pass at 4,496 metres above sea level. This stretch of road is one of the most spectacular in the world and is also listed on dangerousroads.org. The mountain pass road includes 50 hairpin turns.