SAN JUAN DE MARCONA (PERÚ): South Racing Can-Am Team’s Reinaldo Varela and Leonel Larrauri were firmly back on track through the demanding fourth special stage in the Peruvian deserts around San Juan de Marcona after a dramatic opening three days of the Dakar Rally for the new team.
Varela and navigator Gustavo Gugelmin had claimed a fastest stage time on day two, before delays on the third stage, and the Brazilians entered Tuesday’s timed test fifth on the road in the SxS section alongside three cars in a four-vehicle beach start.
Varela was the fastest of the ATV drivers through PC1 and maintained his pace through the next few checkpoints. The Brazilian had extended his advantage to 3min 32sec after 100km and to 9min25sec after PC2, but he lost time over the closing kilometres with a broken wheel rim and went on to finish the special in second position. He now holds third in the overall standings, 1hr 56min 22sec behind the leading Frenchman Patrice Garrouste.
Leonel Larrauri and Fernando Imperatrice managed to reach the bivouac this morning after 24 hours in the car. They were granted a start position of 10th on the road in the SxS category, although they had incurred time penalties and were classified at the tail end of the overall rankings. The Argentines were running third through the first waypoint and maintained their stage position through 100k. They overcame two punctures to finish in an excellent third position.
Juan Carlos Uribe and Javier Uribe Godoy were given a start time alongside a trio of Toyotas in their Can-Am chassis built by South Racing running with support from Can-Am Perú, Alsol, Friopacking and Chiawel Agro. They completed the day’s timed section in a time of 8hrs 13min 23sec after sustaining a broken drive shaft and slipped to second place in the prestigious new SxS category.
Today and tomorrow
The fourth 330km stage of this year’s Dakar was delayed for 30 minutes because of low-lying fog in the San Juan de Marcona area. A liaison of 114km took crews to the start on Peñuelas beach to the south and vehicles left in groups of four before heading inland for another demanding sandy stage of 330km.
On Wednesday, the Dakar heads from the Pacific Coast to Peru’s second city of Arequipa, situated in the Andes. Cars and trucks take a separate route to bikes and quads, although all competitors will cross the treacherous sands of Tanaka.
The cars tackle a competitive section of 268km in the sandy wastelands around San Juan de Marcona before a long road section in a gruelling day’s route of 666km begins a steady climb to Arequipa. The city is overlooked to the north and east by the towering Andean volcanic peaks of Ampato, Chachani and Misti.
What they said:
Scott Abraham, Managing Director, South Racing Can-Am Team
“It was a good day today. We came back from a difficult stage yesterday. Reinaldo was leading the stage at some points today but then, towards the end, he had a broken rim, which slowed him down. But he brought the car to the finish.
“I take my hat off to Leonel. He spent 24 hours in the race car after his broken gearbox last night. He came into the bivouac this morning at just before seven and left just after nine to restart the stage and brought the car home in third position on the day. He will also have moved himself up in the overall rankings. He had two flat tyres early in the stage and had to drive conservatively until PC4, where we had neutralisation.
“It was a difficult day for Juan Carlos (Uribe). He broke a drive shaft around kilometre 150 and brought the car home in seventh. But we will make sure that all the Can-Am Maverick X3s start the race tomorrow. There is still a very long way to go.”
2018 Dakar Rally – SS4 result (SxS category @00.30hrs CET):
- Patrice Garrouste (FRA)/Steven Griener (FRA) Polaris RZR 1000 Turbo 5hrs 47min 49sec
- Reinaldo Varela (BRA)/Gustavo Gugelmin (BRA) South Racing Can-Am 6hrs 09min 18sec
- Leonel Larrauri (ARG)/Fernando Imperatrice (ARG) South Racing Can-Am 6hrs 58min 23sec
- Anibal Aliaga (PER)/Juan Pedro Cilloniz (PER) Polaris RZR 1000 XP 7hrs 28min 50sec
- Claude Fournier (FRA)/Szymon Gospodarczyk (POL) Polaris RZR 1000 XP 7hrs 35min 00sec
- Jose Luis Pena Campo (ESP)/Rafael Tornabell (ESP) Polaris RZR 1000 7hrs 44min 08sec
- Jose Jorge De Barros Sawaya (BRA)/Marcelo Duarte Haseyama (BRA) Polaris 8hrs 02min 49sec
- Juan-Carlos Uribe (PER)/Javier Uribe Godoy (PER) Can-Am 8hrs 13min 23sec
2018 Dakar Rally – overall after SS4 (SxS category @00.30hrs CET):
- Patrice Garrouste (FRA)/Steven Griener (FRA) Polaris RZR 1000 Turbo 16hrs 17min 51sec
- Juan-Carlos Uribe (PER)/Javier Uribe Godoy (PER) Can-Am 18hrs 01min 44sec
- Reinaldo Varela (BRA)/Gustavo Gugelmin (BRA) South Racing Can-Am 18hrs 14min 13sec
- Anibal Aliaga (PER)/Juan Pedro Cilloniz (PER) Polaris RZR 1000 XP 19hrs 08min 39sec
- Claude Fournier (FRA)/Szymon Gospodarczyk (POL) Polaris RZR 1000 XP 19hrs 33min 59sec
- Jose Luis Pena Campo (ESP)/Rafael Tornabell (ESP) Polaris RZR 1000 20hrs 52min 44sec