Fiambalá never disappoints
Desafío Ruta 40 YPF had its fourth stage in the mythical dunes of Fiambalá. Luciano Benavides wins the stage and discounts. Nasser does not slow down in the dunes. Tomorrow the competition ends in Salta where a crowd is expected to witness the definition of the race.
The fourth stage, Belén-Belén, had a total of 584 kilometers, out of which 348 were timed. Much of the stage was through one of the most emblematic regions of the world Rally Raid: The Dunes of Fiambalá. But before that, the competitors had to face the intricate dry rivers of Belén, surfing the stones that could easily break any dream of victory. After that demanding first section, -in which there was no shortage of sectors with navigation- riders and drivers got into the challenging dunes of Fiambalá.
Benavides wins the stage and shortens the gap. Nasser does not slow down in the dunes
Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna Factory Racing) got his first stage victory and shortened the gap to the race leader by 36 seconds. Tosha Schareina (Honda Team) was second this Friday. The Spaniard is leading in bikes 5:47 ahead the rider from Salta when there is just one stage to go.
W2RC: Benavides on his way to the lead
Second in the provisional World Championship standings on his arrival in La Rioja, Luciano Benavides can hope to arrive home in Salta tomorrow with the new status of leader. If the Salta native maintains his place on the DR40 tomorrow and Price remains 7th in the RallyGP championship, as he did this evening, Luciano will have 80 points to the Australian’s 71. It would be a great finishing present for the whole of Salta!
In cars, Toyota is set to celebrate its 2nd consecutive manufacturer’s world championship title tomorrow, the three Hilux cars likely to offer points to the brand are leading the DR40 this evening.
In Quads, Francisco Moreno (Yamaha) was ahead of Manuel Andujar (Yamaha), and won the stage by 2:31. Anyway, Andujar is more than 11 minutes ahead in the overall.
In Cars, Nasser Al Attiyah and Matthieu Baumel (Toyota) won their third stage in the race and got to the last stage with a 15-minute gap over Juan Cruz Yacopini (Toyota), who was third today. Joao Ferreira and Manuel Porem (X-Raid Yamaha) was the best crew today in T3, with Mitchell Guthrie and Kellon Walch (Red Bull Off Road Junior Team) still comfortably leading the overall. In T4, Eduardo Pons and Jaume Betriu (South Racing Can Am) won the stage; Gustavo Gallego and Eugenio Arrieta (South Racing Can Am) are still leading the overall.
The voices at Desafío Ruta 40
Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna Factory Racing): «It’s a great day. I left my soul in this stage. Fiambalá was the capital of Dakar in South America and it’s always something very important. I wanted to do it well and I pushed to the maximum. I caught up with Tosha, I was able to overtake him on the track and make a good difference. But in the final kilometers I made a navigation mistake, I lost my way and there, I lost some time. I wanted to win today because tomorrow there will be a lot of people in the Salta stage and the idea is to go first. Hopefully, I can close in style! It’s being an incredible race for me.»
Pablo Quintanilla (Monster Energy Honda Team): «A very nice stage. It reminded me of Dakar in Argentina. Fiambalá is always complicated. The dunes are very soft, the bike doesn’t push well, but I enjoyed it despite having mechanical problems. I liked the pace; it was high speed with changes of pace and direction. I’ve been having steering problems since the second day, uncomfortable on the bike and it’s hard for me to choose the direction. The team has worked hard but they have not been able to find the fault. It has been a somewhat bitter race this time. Fiambalá always has something in store, but luckily now it’s not as hot as in summer when the engines suffer a lot, and the clutch as well”.
Francisco Moreno (Quads): “The stage was really hard. I like Fiambalá dunes a lot, I can speed up there. I’m happy with the day, it went well. Tomorrow I’m going to try to go for everything and if I’m left with nothing, at least I tried. You have to race with your heart. I still hope to reach the finish line and then we’ll see the result”.
Yazeed Al Rajhi (Overdrive Racing): “It was a difficult stage. The last part was tough. I hit a rock about 90k before the finish. We had a big impact but we continued. Then we had a puncture in the last 40 or 50 km and we lost all the pressure little by little, but we kept going until the end with a flat tyre.Fiambalá was difficult. It’s easy to lose your way. I hope the last day is easier and we can enjoy more.»
W2RC 2024: We´ve got another Desafío Ruta 40 coming!
The W2RC has revealed the calendar for its 2024 season with the presence of Desafío Ruta 40 for the second consecutive year. The Argentine competition will once again be the fourth round of the year but this time, it will be held from June 2 to 8.
The third season of the World Rally Raid Championship will feature five races organized across the continents: The Dakar Rally (January 5-19 in Saudi Arabia), Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (February 25-March 2), BP Ultimate Rally-Raid Transibérico (April 2 to 7), ending with the Morocco Rally (October 5 to 11).
Desafío Ruta 40 YPF Final Act
Stage 5 Belén-Salta with 257km of timed section will be the last stage of DR40 2023 edition. It will be the shortest selective sector this week but with some of the most impressive landscapes Argentina has to offer.
The stage starts in Santa María River, a track that has been part of other editions of Desafío Ruta 40 on several occasions and also with a lot of history in the South American Dakar Rally. The wide river bed and its sandy floor make this part of the river a real speed track for the rally caravan. Once in Salta, after crossing the city of Cafayate, the race enters Route 40 itself, on a very winding and technical mountain road, but which will give the competitors the chance to say goodbye to this race by going through one of the most beautiful sections of this emblematic route.
Heading for Salta: Spectators Zones and Price Giving Ceremony
Tomorrow, Desafío Ruta 40 will arrive in Salta. Spectators who want to enjoy the race from the side of the road can do so from the Spectator Zones. It is possible to download these maps from the website: www.desafioruta40.ar/zona-espectadores/
Fans will also have the chance to go to the bivouac located at Centro de Convenciones where the Price ceremony will take place.
Starting at 12:50 p.m., DR40 riders and drivers will begin to arrive at the bivouac. As soon as they come into the bivouac, they will receive their “finisher” medal. Then, from 5:30 p.m. it will be time for the podium and the winners will receive their trophies.