Lone rally driver from Goa conquers the Himalayas

06.09.2022 | 07:45 IST

“Never give up” spirit: Lone rally driver from Goa conquers the Himalayas

Vasco’s Amul Anil Satoskar Takes Champion’s Title in Four-Day Rally of Himalayas Extreme Motorsport Event; his fourth win in the majestic Himalayas

DOLCY D’CRUZ

PANJIM: Amul Anil Satoskar, a resident of Vasco, had his car, Mitsubishi Cedia, five times during the four-day extreme motorsport event Rally of Himalayas, but that didn’t stop him from “never giving up,” and he continued to win the first place in the car category by an enormous margin of 11 minutes.

The only Goan in the championship, the professional rally ace represented Team Goa in the rally.

With a 22-year career, Satoskar has competed in every major rally in the country and achieved consecutive podium finishes. He had previously won the SUV category for the Raid de Himalaya three years in a row and although the weather in the Himalayas is vastly different from Goa he still braves it in every rally he has competed in.

“I represent Goa on behalf of Team Goa although I have no support from the state government as of yet. I traveled to Manali a few days before the rally to acclimatize to the altitude. This year the route went from Manali, Solang Valley, Rohtang, Gramphu, Keylong, Patsio, Jispa, Baralacha Shinkula. The top covers a total of 823 kilometers. The competition requires three challenges per day with varied terrain such as black ice, boulders and 11 water crossings, which I will never forget because my car fell off 5 times due to low ground clearance. That was the most difficult terrain as it’s not meant for cars,” says Satoskar, relieved that the car didn’t falter in the competition.

The car has another interesting story to tell. It was rented in Bangalore and shipped to Manali aboard a truck. Unfortunately the truck was held up in Chandigarh due to large landslides and had to be driven to Manali by the owner. “The car arrived just half an hour before the organizers accepted it. Goa also doesn’t have racetracks to practice on. I only had a few laps in the car before I parked it for inspection where it’s sealed until the race,” he said.

He adds: “The car was older and not as strong compared to other competing cars and so I couldn’t take the maximum risk and drive my car to the core and maintain my pace at high altitude.”

My top speed was 142 km/h at 3 degrees temperature. It was freezing cold and we started the rally early in the morning at 4am and completed the challenges after completing the entire data plan. In the evening I usually felt completely drained. Nevertheless, my team and I managed to get first place. I am very grateful to my navigator Ravee Kumar from Bengaluru, my tunner Imran Khan from Bengaluru and my technical manager Samrat Yadav along with his team from Delhi.”

The rally is organized by the Extreme Motorsports Club in cooperation with FMSCI and took place from August 27th to 30th.

Motorsport is one of the most expensive sports in the world and so far Satoskar has kept his passion alive with his real estate business. He was a professional rally driver for Team Tata, Team Mahindra and Team Maruti Suzuki for Raid de Himalaya and was complimented by Ratan Tata Team Full Throttle in Mumbai. He has won national rallies such as Rally Art Bangalore, INRC Rally, Desert Storm Rally and Dakshin Dare Rally.

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