Saturday, July 20, 2024

Gustavo Gallego entering Desafio Ruta 40 in SSV

When the Dakar Rally ran through his home country of Argentina, Gustavo Gallego was one of the top riders on quads with a podium in 2019. As the World Rally-Raid Championship heads to Argentina for the first time in August for the Desafío Ruta 40, Gallego will be there, albeit on a slightly different four-wheel vehicle as he will drive a Can-Am Maverick X3 for South Racing Can-Am. Grupo GRP will sponsor his entry.

As a former leg on the Dakar Series, the Desafío Ruta 40 was where Gallego earned his ticket to the 2017 Dakar Rally as a quad rider. He scored a runner-up in Stage #5 but failed to finish the rally. He returned to Dakar in 2018 as the reigning Argentine Cross-Country Rally champion, but broke his fibula in Stage #10.

His most recent Dakar in 2019 was his best. Despite not winning a stage, he notched five quad podium stage finishes and ran as high as second in the overall before settling for third in an Argentinian top three sweep. Incidentally, the winner Nicolás Cavigliasso has also since switched to racing side-by-side cars; while Gallego will be in T4, Cavigliasso will make his début in T3 at the Desafío Ruta 40.

Credit: Juan Manuel González/Minga Creative Company

In 2022, Gallego rented a Can-Am from GG Competición to compete in the South American Rally Race. Sergio Lafuente, also a quad rider turned T3 co-driver, worked alongside him for the effort. In a 2022 interview with La Nueva, Gallego explained the switch came for both for health and in response “to the fact that in recent years the influx of quads has dropped a lot whereas this not-so-innovative new category is becoming more and more attractive.

“They are very fun vehicles to drive, with a lot of suspension work. You have to take great care of it, because having so much power and being so light it is more prone to breaking. In these races, where you try to go deep and on such rough terrain, you have to be extremely careful.”

South Racing is one of the top programmes in international rally raid for SSVs, fielding entries in both T3 and T4 and maintaining a young but successful partnership with Red Bull Can-Am Factory Racing.

The Desafío Ruta 40 will begin on 28 August.