Kochi: A Kochi native has marked his presence in the 'Desert Storm', touted to be the longest cross-country rally, when he finished second in the two-wheel Moto category.
Joseph Jinu (30), a native of Chittoor, became the first racer from the state to manage a finish in the event in which competitors have to negotiate extreme weather conditions, tough terrains and navigational challenges in the Thar desert.
"The event was flagged off in the deserts around Bikaner on May 8 and ended in Jaisalmer on May 11, covering a distance of over 2000 kms. The heat was unbearable with temperature soaring above 50 C but I pushed myself on," said Joseph,
His achievement came despite meeting a setback at the start. "There are two 'legs' to be covered in Day one. I was about to finish the leg 2 when suddenly, the petrol got over. I had to push the bike for nearly two kms before I could collect the fuel with the help of a local native in Bikaner. Worst I have to suffer a 100 minute penalty for qualifying for the next stage," Joseph, who works in a private firm in Kochi, said.
The participation in the rally is a costlier affair with Joseph incurring nearly Rs 1.5 lakh.
"The entry fee alone was Rs 20, 000. Further Rs 90, 000 was spent to modify my bike. Luckily I was sponsored by Kochi-based 'CopyTech India' firm," he said....