March 2016

Achievers Corner

Billed as the most dangerous race in the world, about 61 people have died, either participating or watching as spectators, over the past 37 years!What makes Dakar so dangerous? The rally pits drivers not only against each another, but also against some of the most extreme terrains in the world.This feat of SANTOSH has put India on the world map many decades ahead of time. It has inspired the next generation of Indians to dream and to compete with the best in the world.Competing over the last 15 years, he has won every single title that there has to be won. He won the National Supercross Championship, the Raid-De-Himalaya (on his debut attempt), the Desert Storm (twice), the Asian Supercross (6th Position) and was 9th in the World Cross Country Rally Championship in 2014 (which included the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Sea Line Cross Country Rally & Rally of Morocco).

His defining moment was when he completed the Dakar Rally in 2015 and attained the 36th position, making him the only Indian and the 3rd Asian to have conquered the mighty challenge!

We salute you CS Santosh on your successful completion of Dakar Rally (36th Position). You are undoubtedly the best racer in India on 2 wheels.

“The Dakar was harder than I had ever imagined. I knew I could do it but the length was amazing. I really struggle a lot in the dust but learned so much. I finished 36th but just being able to finish was great. When I started the race, not that many people knew I was competing, but after two days of racing there was more and more media attention. All the biggest news channels of India were following me. I believe it was unprecedented in India. I was bigger than Force India in Formula One. Every day, there would be a quarter page in the newspapers about me. When I returned I was given a fantastic reception. It felt like I’d won the Dakar. In my mind there was no question of me not coming back. I didn’t compete in any World Cup races. I spent a lot of time training in Spain and worked on navigation a lot. This time I’ll be riding a Suzuki, supported by Suzuki India. I’ll have a bigger structure around me. I always come to do better although I might struggle with speed. Last year, I was too much in the comfort zone. I have to get out of that. I want to go to my maximum. I know that the media have big expectations.’’

Quick snippets from my journey in the legendary Dakar Rally of 2015 where I am the first Indian to participate, in history of the event!

 I’m happy that I found some speed towards the end of the rally. Already thinking of #dakar2016

This photo pretty much sums up my #‎Dakar Rally I struggled and fought everyday and in this epic race I managed to carve out a name for myself like all the hero’s I have read about in history books. “What is life if not for the possibility of a seemingly impossible challenge” Great to see that you guys were behind me 100% I’m so overwhelmed by all the support.

Day 13: Stage 13 – I’ve shown that it’s possible, an Indian can do it too. I hope there’ll be more of us in the future.