Wednesday, April 17, 2024

2023 Desafio Ruta 40: Stage 5 ends with bike penalties

As the Desafío Ruta 40 came to a close Friday, it was imperative for leaders to avoid making mistakes that might upend their races at the last moment. Bike riders did not quite seem to get that memo.

Perhaps due to riders being more cautious or even too aggressive to maximise their ranking, Stage #5 saw all but two names in the top RallyGP category along with six in Rally2 receive penalties for speeding. Most were of the two-minute variety, though more egregious cases got triple that.

Adrien Van Beveren and his Honda team-mate José Ignacio Cornejo were the only RallyGP riders not to get busted, though they finished on complete opposite ends of the leaderboard. Cornejo finished eighth and last in class as he was dealing with illness, while Van Beveren had finished fourth but ended up the winner as the entire podium was penalised. Initial stage winner Toby Price was one of those who got six minutes, relegating him to fourth.

Ross Branch and Ricky Brabec got two minutes but were able to hang on to their podium spots as Van Beveren moved up. Van Beveren beat Branch by fifty-eight seconds.

Tosha Schareina and Luciano Benavides, the top two in the RallyGP overall entering Friday, opted for more conservative strategies to preserve their positions and consequently finished in the bottom half of the class. Benavides still finished seventh of eight regardless of his six-minute penalty while Schareina was fifth even with two minutes tacked on, though it did not affect their overall.

Rally2’s Michael Docherty, who consistently kept pace with the higher RallyGP class, was also slapped with six minutes to drop him to second in class while Bradley Cox‘s flawless run sealed the overall win.

The cars were not as penalty-laden as only three drivers got caught going too fast in select speed zones, most notably the T1 of Eugenio Amos which caused him to lose third to Denis Krotov by just a second. With his time of 2:40:08 nudging out Amos’ 2:40:09, Krotov scored his maiden stage podium in a Toyota Hilux.

Juan Cruz Yacopini and Yazeed Al-Rajhi, second and third overall behind Nasser Al-Attiyah, finished at the bottom of T1. Al-Rajhi’s Friday was marred by four punctures, which had doomed him to start the rally on Monday.

Shinsuke Umeda, who rolled his T4 on Thursday, and classmate Enrico Gaspari received one- and two-minute penalties for speeding. Gaspari had led for much of Saturday before stopping in the final run, which enabled Gustavo Gallego to pull ahead and win.

Stage #4 T3 winner João Ferreira retired with clutch problems.

Joaquín Debeljuh entered Friday as the overall leader in the Open Moto class, but lost the win after crashing into a trunk in a dry river. He attempted to continue the race before passing out from the pain and was airlifted out, eventually being diagnosed with a dislocated and fractured right shoulder.

Stage #5 winners

Class Number Competitor Team Time
T1 200 Nasser Al-Attiyah Toyota Gazoo Racing 2:34:04
T3 306 Mattias Ekström South Racing Can-Am 2:42:21
T4 403 Gustavo Gallego* South Racing Can-Am 3:09:14
RallyGP 42 Adrien Van Beveren Monster Energy Honda Rally TEam 2:39:44
Rally2 21 Bradley Cox BAS World KTM Racing Team 2:43:19
Rally3 122 Ardit Kurtaj Xraids Experience 3:19:05
Quad 152 Manuel Andújar 7240 Team 2:57:25
Open Auto 650 Blas Zapag* Copetrol Rally 3:07:31
Open T3 674 Rodrigo Caballero* Rodrigo Caballero 3:10:17
Open T4 678 Juan Jose Semino* Xcorpion Rally Racing 3:32:14
Open Moto 610 Eduardo Parra* Eduardo Parra 3:12:05
Open Quad 621 Matías Innocente* Corrientes Dakar Team 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 23:06:14
Open T3 670 Jeremías Gonzalez Ferioli* Ferioli Racing Team 17:34:21
Open T4 678 Juan José Semino* Xcorpion Rally Racing 20:59:00
Open Moto 608 Marcio Yampa* MEB Belén Rally 22:14:22
Open Quad 623 Santiago Rostan* Pampa Rental Rally Team 25:22:43