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Khardung-La Pass in Ladakh wraps around the mountains, winds up and touches the highest point in the world. At 18,300 feet, it has the world's highest motorable roads, and with its tricky terrain, the most challenging ones too. It is the darling of rallyists, so why all the fuss when a race car driver decides to speed up his Formula One car up the pass?
"Formula One race cars are designed to only work on smooth tarmacs, like the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida. So, taking one through potholes, bumps, hair pin turns, mud and gravel, sometimes no road at all, was a challenge. Second, you have to survive the altitude," says Neel Jani, a Swiss race car driver of Indian origin, who has become the first driver to take an F1 car to the pass. "Crazy" is how Jani describes the adventure, which features on Discovery Turbo's Khardunga-La: Race Car Extreme this Sunday.
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