Saturday, April 20, 2024

2023 Desafio Ruta 40: Juan Jose Semino, Juan Santiago Rostan win Dakar 2024 slots

Juan Santiago Rostan arrived at the Desafío Ruta 40 to race alongside his father Santiago. He left with an oversized voucher assuring him of free registration for the 2024 Dakar Rally.

He was one of thirteen riders across the FIM-sanctioned Rally2 and independent Open Moto classes competing to win the Road to Dakar, a programme designed to reward top bike and SSV performers at each World Rally-Raid Championship round with a waived entry fee for the following year’s Dakar Rally if they have never run the race before.

Rostan finished sixth overall in Rally2, the second highest for competitors not part of the W2RC behind Diego Llanos, with a time of 19:47:59. While Rostan was never a competitor for the Rally2 title, he consistently ran in the seventh through ninth range, including overcoming a broken clutch in Stage #4 to finish seventh.

Fellow Rally2 rider Jeremías Pascual was Rostan’s biggest RtD rival as he won the Prologue and two stages, with Rostan’s two coming on days in which Pascual suffered mechanical issues that included his bike’s navigation tower breaking off in Stage #4. However, he was knocked out entirely by a crash on the final stage. Rally2’s Fabien von Thüngen moved up to second as a result, but nearly three hours back of Rostan.

Santiago Rostan Sr. also got to celebrate his own performance as he won the Open Quad class, finishing fourth among all Open Moto entries. Open Moto winner Rodrigo de Abreu Sallum finished third in the Road to Dakar.

“I can’t believe I won the Road to Dakar, it’s the dream of many riders. We came for that,” said Rostan. “It was hard. Yesterday, we had a bad time and we lost all clutch in the middle of the dunes, but we were able to finish. We were up late making repairs, but racing is racing. It hasn’t sunk in yet, I don’t know how I’m going to make it to Saudi Arabia for the Dakar. Luckily, I was able to share it with my dad whom I was told is on his way to the bivouac. I am more than grateful to all the people who have offered me a hand so that I can be here because it has been a big effort. I think these things push athletes forward; when you have a dream, you have to set your mind to it and things will happen.”

The Road to Dakar’s four-wheeled counterpart saw a two-man battle in the Open T4 class, where Juan José Semino defeated reigning South American Rally Race T3.2 winner Diego Blas for the overall. Blas won Stage #1 before Semino clamped down to win the rest of the way.

Racing a Can-Am Maverick X3 XRS for Xcorpion Rally Racing with Gonzalo Oltra as navigator, Semino set a time of twenty hours and fifty-nine minutes. Blas was over two and a half horus back.

The 2024 Dakar Rally begins on 5 January, though Road to Dakar winners can also defer their entry to 2025. As it returns to the W2RC calendar for 2024, the DR 40 will once again be an RtD round next year along with the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, BP Ultimate Rally-Raid Transibérico, and Rallye du Maroc.

Other 2023 Road to Dakar victors include Tobias Ebster, who won the Rally2 overall at the ADDC; Francisco Alvarez and Sara Price, who earned their entries at the Sonora Rally; and Jayden Els, topping the RtD at the non-W2RC TGR 1000 Desert Race. The Rallye du Maroc on 13–18 October, as the W2RC season finale, will be the final RtD race of the year.

Road to Dakar results


Finish Number Rider Team Category Time Margin
1 69 Juan Santiago Rostan Pampa Rental Rally Team Rally2 19:47:59 Leader
2 57 Fabien von Thüngen Fabien von Thüngen Rally2 22:36:11 + 2:48:12
3 605 Rodrigo de Abreu Sallum MED Racing Team Open 22:36:24 + 2:48:25
4 608 Marcio Yampa MEB Belén Rally Open 22:39:32 + 2:51:33
5 61 Carlos Llibre Xraids Experience Rally2 22:40:34 + 2:52:35
6 67 Rolando Martinez BAS World KTM Racing Team Rally2 22:56:29 + 3:08:30
7 56 Jiří Brož Xraids Experience Rally2 23:30:32 + 3:42:33
8 65 Iván Martín Iván Martín Rally2 25:08:04 + 5:20:05
9 35 Dominique Cizeau Girault Xraids Experience Rally2 25:15:58 + 5:27:59
10 55 David Martin MED Racing Team Rally2 29:33:11 + 9:45:12
11 64 Carlos Malo Peña Carlos Malo Peña Rally2 44:34:04 + 25:46:05
12 603 Matías Aranoa Enfermos por el Dakar Rally Team Open 53:14:56 + 33:26:57
DNF 66 Jeremías Pascual Jeremías Pascual Rally2 DNF N/A


Finish Number Driver Co-Driver Team Time Margin
1 678 Juan José Semino Gonzalo Oltra Xcorpion Rally Racing 20:59:00 Leader
2 675 Diego Blas Victor Patricio GM Motorsport 23:40:55 + 2:41:55

Road to Dakar stage winners

Stage Moto Time T4 Time
Prologue Jeremías Pascual 59:28 (7:26) Juan José Semino 8:34
Stage #1 Jeremías Pascual 3:19:18 Diego Blas 3:55:44
Stage #2 Juan Santiago Rostan 4:31:05 Juan José Semino 4:34:40
Stage #3 Jeremías Pascual 3:39:24 Juan José Semino 4:08:13
Stage #4 Juan Santiago Rostan 3:40:36 Juan José Semino 4:38:49
Stage #5 Rolando Martinez 3:05:56 Juan José Semino 3:32:14

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