Two West Australians are about to tackle one of India’s biggest off-road events, Desert Storm 2008.

Niaz Ali and Kim Epton will head to New Delhi this week to take part in the marathon rally which began in 2003 and is now the country’s major motorsport event.

Event honours have traditionally gone to the Indian-produced Maruti Gypsy King – a long wheelbase, wide-bodied Suzuki Sierra 4WD equivalent, however Ali and Epton will contest the event in a specially prepared Suzuki Grand Vitara quad-cam 2.5 litre V6.

The Vitara has been prepared by a team of volunteers in WA, with Gti Motorsport’s Shane Kinnear and his team providing all the spares the team will carry in the event.

Ali is no stranger to rallying in India, having won every major event in the country in a career spanning over 20 years.  Since moving to Australia in the 80s, rallying hasn’t been on his agenda – until now.  Despite his experience, he is under no illusions as to the difficulty of the event, with temperatures in the Rajasthan region, where the event is held, regularly reaching 50 degrees Celcius!

The 2500km Desert Storm starts in Delhi on March 13 and finishes in Jaipur on March 18.

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