Sunday, June 23, 2024

2023 Desafio Ruta 40: Ferioli, Sallum win Open classes

While the World Rally-Raid Championship made up the bulk of the headlines at the Desafío Ruta 40, the Open classes for competitors not under FIA or FIM sanction were also filled with stories of their own.

In fact, Open racers arguably stole the show from the Prologue when the T3 of Alfredo Olmedo spun off course and rolled down a cliff. Miraculously, Olmedo and his car were able to continue the rally and even finished on the podium in Stage #3 before retiring for good the next day.

Otherwise, another T3 swept the stages as Jeremías Gonzalez Ferioli set the fastest time of all three Open Auto classes, beating his classmate Rodrigo Caballero by over an hour. Although competing in a non-FIA class, Ferioli already has experience in sanctioned competition as a longtime Dakar Rally quad rider and SSV racer, including winning a T4 stage in the 2023 edition.

Juan José Semino held off defending South American Rally Race T3.2 winner Diego Blas for the T4 win. With no prior Dakar experience, the victory earned him free registration for the 2024 Dakar Rally via the Road to Dakar programme.

In the Open Moto class, Joaquín Debeljuh proved to be the top rider on his RVM Rally, a rebadged Kove bike; Kove, which successfully completed the Dakar Rally and Sonora Rally earlier in the W2RC season, has a partnership with RVM to operate in Argentina. However, his race came undone when he crashed on the final stage and dislocated his shoulder.

His exit opened the door for Marcio Yampa and Rodrigo de Abreu Sallum, the latter holding off the 2021 Campeonato Argentino de Rally y Navegación and SARR champion for the overall win by just three minutes. Blas Zapag Peralta, a former rallycross driver, joined them on the podium; his father Blas Zapag Sr. won the Open Auto category.

The family affair also extended to the Rostans as Santiago Rostan won the Open Quad class and son Juan Santiago Rostan won the Road to Dakar for bikes in Rally2.

One of the more unique entries was Juan Nimo, who is paralysed from the waist down due to a motocross accident but has continued his career with a special Honda Tornado with a frame to support him. He officially retired from the race after arriving too late on the penultimate stage due to a broken clutch, but still completed the final leg and was celebrated as such.

Open overall results


Finish Class Finish Number Driver Co-Driver Team Category Time Margin
1 1 670 Jeremías Gonzalez Ferioli Gonzalo Rinaldo Ferioli Racing Team T3 17:34;31 Leader
2 2 674 Rodrigo Caballero Nicolas Bollero Rodrigo Caballero T3 18:40:43 + 1:06:12
3 3 677 Antonio Pennesi Martin Wintersteter ATV Sport Rally T3 20:27:00 + 2:52:29
4 1 678 Juan José Semino Gonzalo Oltra Xcorpion Rally Racing T4 20:59:00 + 3:24:29
5 1 650 Blas Zapag Juan Jose Sanchez Copetrol Rally Cars 23:06:34 + 5:32:03
6 2 675 Diego Blas Victor Patricio GM Motorsport T4 23:40:55 + 6:06:24
7 4 672 Pablo Macua Antonela Fazzi Macua Sport Team T3 35:12:19 + 17:37:48
8 2 651 Ramon Nuñez Juan Antonio Cosiansi Salta Rally Team Cars 50:32:15 + 32:57:44
9 3 676 Javier Velez Fernando Imperatrice GM Motorsport T4 50:44:2 + 33:09:49
10 5 673 Ruben Gentile Yessica Gentile HV Racing T3 58:17:37 + 40:43:06
DNF DNF 652 Sergio Larreguy Nestor Norha Etap Racing Cars DNF N/A
DNF DNF 671 Alfredo Olmedo Daniel Lopez Can-Am Racing Team T3 DNF N/A


Finish Class Finish Number Rider Team Category Time Margin
1 1 605 Rodrigo de Abreu Sallum MED Racing Team Moto 22:36:24 Leader
2 2 608 Marcio Yampa MEB Belén Rally Moto 22:39:32 + 3:08
3 3 606 Blas Zapag Peralta MED Racing Team Moto 24:11:10 + 1:34:46
4 1 623 Santiago Rostan Pampa Rental Rally Team Quad 25:28:33 + 2:52:09
5 2 621 Matías Innocente Corrientes Dakar Team Quad 46:23:26 + 23:47:02
6 4 603 Matías Aranoa Enfermos por el Dakar Rally Team Moto 53:14:56 + 30:38:32
DNF DNF 600 Joaquín Debeljuh RVM Rally Team Moto DNF N/A
DNF DNF 602 Martín Franco MED Racing Team Moto DNF N/A
DNF DNF 604 Agustin Pedersen Revo Moto DNF N/A
DNF DNF 607 Juan Nimo Particular Revo Moto DNF N/A
DNF DNF 609 Agustin Donovan Donovan Racing Team Moto DNF N/A
DNF DNF 610 Eduardo Parra Revo Moto DNF N/A
DNF DNF 611 Juan Cruz Carrizo JC Electricidad SA Moto DNF N/A

Open stage winners


Stage Auto Time T3 Time T4 Time
Prologue Blas Zapag 7:57 Jeremías Gonzalez Ferioli 7:19 Juan José Semino 8:34
Stage #1 Blas Zapag 3:38:37 Jeremías Gonzalez Ferioli 3:26:29 Diego Blas 3:55:44
Stage #2 Blas Zapag 5:20:03 Jeremías Gonzalez Ferioli 4:25:00 Juan José Semino 4:34:40
Stage #3 Blas Zapag 4:44:48 Jeremías Gonzalez Ferioli 3:23:21 Juan José Semino 4:08:13
Stage #4 Blas Zapag 6:15:15 Jeremías Gonzalez Ferioli 3:25:02 Juan José Semino 4:38:49
Stage #5 Blas Zapag 3:07:51 Jeremías Gonzalez Ferioli 2:54:39 Juan José Semino 3:32:14


Stage Moto Time Quad Time
Prologue Blas Zapag Peralta 1:05:52 Santiago Rostan 1:14:16
Stage #1 Joaquín Debeljuh 3:29:29 Santiago Rostan 5:03:20
Stage #2 Joaquín Debeljuh 4:45:21 Santiago Rostan 5:23:09
Stage #3 Marcio Yampa 4:11:01 Santiago Rostan 4:49:03
Stage #4 Joaquín Debeljuh 4:14:56 Santiago Rostan 4:56:07
Stage #5 Rodrigo de Abreu Sallum 3:14:56 Matías Innocente 3:45:48

Overall winners

Class Number Competitor Team Time
T1 200 Nasser Al-Attiyah Toyota Gazoo Racing 15:10:03
T3 302 Mitch Guthrie Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team 16:22:31
T4 403 Gustavo Gallego* South Racing Can-Am 18:34:37
RallyGP 68 Tosha Schareina* Honda Team 15:58:46
Rally2 21 Bradley Cox BAS World KTM Racing Team 17:01:01
Rally3 122 Ardit Kurtaj Xraids Experience 23:15:45
Quad 152 Manuel Andújar 7240 Team 19:24:30
Open Auto 650 Blas Zapag* Copetrol Rally 23:06:34
Open T3 670 Jeremías Gonzalez Ferioli* Ferioli Racing Team 17:34:31
Open T4 678 Juan José Semino* Xcorpion Rally Racing 20:59:00
Open Moto 608 Rodrigo de Abreu Sallum* MED Racing Team 22:36:24
Open Quad 623 Santiago Rostan* Pampa Rental Rally Team 25:28:33
Road to Dakar Auto 678 Juan José Semino* Xcorpion Rally Racing 20:59:00
Road to Dakar Moto 69 Juan Santiago Rostan* Pampa Rental Rally Team 25:28:33