Monday, April 15, 2024

2023 Desafio Ruta 40: Mitch Guthrie assumes T3 points lead with second straight win

A week before heading to Argentina for the Desafío Ruta 40, Mitch Guthrie finished second to Red Bull team-mate Seth Quintero among UTVs at the Vegas to Reno. Two weeks after that night in Nevada, Guthrie was the one atop a UTV podium.

Trading in his V2R Polaris for his World Rally-Raid Championship MCE-5 T3M, Guthrie scored two stage wins in the Desafío Ruta 40‘s T3 category but his reliability and consistency proved key to the overall victory. With the exception of a seventh in Stage #5 after racing conservatively, he finished on the podium in each of the first four legs and won the first and third, allowing him to retain the overall lead every day.

The win is Guthrie’s second straight after claiming the Sonora Rally in April.

“It was a great rally,” Guthrie stated. “We had our ups and downs for sure, but we kept it together all the way. We’re stoked with the overall win, that’s two in a row now. It was my first time racing here so we were learning a lot as we went.”

Mattias Ekström and Quintero provided the biggest challenges to Guthrie’s reign, the former also winning the Prologue and Stage #2, but were set back by mechanical failures. Ekström was knocked out of overall contention just a day after his stage win with a broken differential, while Quintero’s intercooler failed the following stage. Both still reached the finish, albeit in tenth and eleventh.

Their issues promoted Cristina Gutiérrez to second overall entering the final stage, though she trailed Guthrie by over twenty-two minutes. Gutiérrez was only able to slice six minutes from the margin.

Despite recording a podium finish in third, Austin Jones lost the T3 points lead to Guthrie. After trailing Jones by twenty points entering Argentina, Guthrie is now ahead by three while Quintero falls from second to third with nine points separating him and the new leader. Behind the Americans, Gutiérrez’s runner-up breaks a tie for fourth with Red Bull ally Francisco Lopéz Contardo.

João Ferreira won Stage #4, but was already in a hole after a gearbox problem plagued his Stage #1. A broken clutch ended his race on the last day.

Vehicle trouble also ruined an otherwise impressive T3 début for Nicolás Cavigliasso. The T4 regular and 2019 Dakar Rally quad champion, racing an MCE-5 car like Guthrie, finished second to Ekström in Stage #2 after leading at the final checkpoint only to be overtaken in the closing run. Cavigliasso was also leading Stage #4 before a mechanical issue dropped him to eighth.

T3 overall results

Finish Overall Finish Number Driver Co-Driver Team Time Margin
1 5 302 Mitch Guthrie Kellon Walch Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team 16:22:31 Leader
2 6 303 Cristina Gutiérrez Pablo Moreno Huete Red Bull Can-Am Factory Racing 16:38:49 + 16:18
3 7 300 Austin Jones Gustavo Gugelmin Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team 16:50:14 + 27:43
4 8 304 Francisco Lopéz Contardo Bruno Jacomy Red BulL Can-Am Factory Racing 16:56:18 + 33:47
5 9 312 Hernán Garcés* Juan Pablo Latrach South Racing Can-Am 17:27:06 + 1:04:35
6 11 310 Juan Carlos Cerda* Álvaro León Terracop Rally 18:16:50 + 1:54:19
7 13 309 Nicolás Cavigliasso* Valeria Pertegarini Wevers Sport 19:42:39 + 3:20:08
8 15 305 João Ferreira Manuel Porem X-raid Team 33:25:49 + 17:03:18
9 16 307 Claude Fournier Szymon Gospodarczyk BBR Motorsport 35:13:33 + 18:51:02
10 18 306 Mattias Ekström Emil Bergkvist South Racing Can-Am 36:54:44 + 20:32:13
11 19 301 Seth Quintero Dennis Zenz Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team 37:43:18 + 21:20:47
12 20 308 David Zille Sebastian Cesana South Racing Can-Am 37:49:24 + 21:26:53
13 22 313 Oscar Santos Peralta* Loutival Roldan Santos Racing 39:49:09 + 23:26:38
14 24 311 Gabriel Rodríguez* Santiago de la Vega Wevers Sport 43:30:58 + 27:08:27
* – Not competing in World Rally-Raid Championship

T3 stage winners

Stage Driver Time
Prologue Mattias Ekström 6:54
Stage #1 Mitch Guthrie 3:12:31
Stage #2 Mattias Ekström 3:45:39
Stage #3 Mitch Guthrie 3:13:12
Stage #4 João Ferreira 3:12:23
Stage #5 Mattias Ekström 2:42:21

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 Jose 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

W2RC T3 standings

Drivers’ standings

Rank Driver Points Margin
1 Mitch Guthrie 174 Leader
2 Austin Jones 171 – 3
3 Seth Quintero 165 – 9
4 Cristina Gutiérrez 110 – 64
5 Francisco Lopéz Contardo 104 – 70
6 João Ferreira 97 – 77
7 Mattias Ekström 77 – 97
8 Claude Fournier 55 – 119
9 David Zille 54 – 120
10 Jean-Luc Ceccaldi 41 – 133
11 Aliyyah Koloc 34 – 140
12 Hélder Rogrigues 22 – 152
13 Annett Quandt 20 – 154
14 Dania Akeel 15 – 159
15 Erik van Loon 13 – 161
Fernando Alvarez 0 – 174

Co-drivers’ standings

Some co-drivers have worked with drivers in other categories. Those do not count for this championship nor are they mentioned below.

Rank Co-Driver Driver Points Margin
1 Kellon Walch Mitch Guthrie 174 Leader
2 Gustavo Gugelmin Austin Jones 171 – 3
3 Dennis Zenz Seth Quintero 165 – 9
4 Pablo Moreno Huete Cristina Gutiérrez 110 – 64
5 Juan Pablo Latrach Francisco López Contardo 78 – 96
6 Emil Bergkvist Mattias Ekström 77 – 97
7 Filipe Palmeiro João Ferreira 74 – 100
8 Sebastian Cesana David Zille 54 – 120
9 Cédric Duplé Jean-Luc Ceccaldi 50 – 124
10 Szymon Gospodarczyk Claude Fournier 35 – 139
11 Stéphane Duple Aliyyah Koloc 34 – 140
12 Bruno Jacomy Hernán Garcés 26 – 148
13 Manuel Porem João Ferreira 23 – 151
14 Gonçalo Reis Hélder Rodrigues 22 – 152
15 Arnold Brucy Claude Fournier 20 – 154
16 Sergio Lafuente Dania Akeel, Diego Martinez 15 – 159
17 Sébastien Delaunay Erik van Loon 13 – 161
18 Annie Seel Annett Quandt 11 – 163
19 Lisette Bakker Annett Quandt 9 – 165
Xavier Panseri Fernando Álvarez Castellano 0 – 174
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