2018 vs 2023: What’s new in the Desafío Ruta 40 YPF?
The Desafío Ruta 40 YPF will be held from August 26 to September 1 in La Rioja, Belén and Salta. It will be the great comeback of this competition after a hiatus of five years. Less than two weeks before the start of the competition, it is inevitable to make a comparative review with the novelties that will be presented in this 2023 in comparison with what happened in the last edition of the race held in 2018.
Undoubtedly, one of the biggest changes to be seen is in the sports regulations. This motorsport discipline is in a new era thanks to the unification of the FIA and FIM world championships in what is now the new World Rally Raid Championship (W2RC) introduced in 2022. While the Desafío Ruta 40 has been in many occasions part of the former FIM World Championship -as was the case in 2018-, this 11th edition of the Argentine race will mark the debut of the W2RC in the country and in South America.
In this sense, the significant change lies in the fact that common technical specifications defining the different classes and categories have been aligned in the regulations, which simplifies -among other things- the decisions of the teams and drivers, as well as the inspection of the race.
Road Book: The best kept secret
The essence of this type of competition is to keep the itinerary in secret. For this, the fundamental tool is the Road Book, which indicates to the competitors the track to follow. Indeed, one of the major changes that will be made in this edition is the way in which it will be distributed.
Until a few years ago, the Road Book was handed out in advance, usually on the arrival of the competitors at the bivouac. In fact, it was a frequent scene to see the riders at the bivouac highlighting the Road Book. But now, in order to avoid any kind of additional help or information, the Road Book will be handed out only a few minutes before the start of each special stage.
Moreover, the FIA categories, as well as the quads, will also implement the new and sophisticated electronic Road Book, which consists of a tablet that replaces the paper version.
This edition of the Desafío Ruta 40 YPF will also implement improvements in the safety measures for the riders. Although the measures change according to each category, the most relevant modifications include the new implementation of airbags for bikes and quads; the modification of the navigation tower for bikes; as well as the limits on maximum speeds.
With the arrival of the W2RC, there is another novelty that will be seen for the first time here: The awards ceremony. Beyond the final podium, now also, the winners of each stage will be honored with a medal ceremony that will take place alongside each day’s briefing. This will be an opportunity to recognize the daily achievements of the competitors and celebrate their performance in each stage of the competition.