Sunday, May 19, 2024

Mason Klein, Nelson Piquet Jr. among 2023 Sertoes Rally winners

Mason Klein‘s rally raid adventures have taken the American across the world to places like the Arabian Peninsula, Iberia, Morocco, and right across the U.S. border in Mexico. This past week, the World Rally-Raid Championship RallyGP rider went to Brazil for his début at the Rally dos Sertões, and he made waves from the get-go as he became the first American rider to win an overall at the event.

Racing for Dimas Mattos, Klein set the tone immediately by winning the first four stages among bikes. Gabriel Bruning broke his streak in Stage #5, which was shortened after a bizarre situation in which pit crews went to a refuel location further down the route from where they were supposed to be and riders were unable to reach it. An early error in Stage #6 resulted in him settling for fourth, but he was back on the stage podiums for the final two days.

He recorded a total time of twenty-eight hours, fourteen minutes, nineteen seconds to claim the bike overall after eight stages. Bruning was second and over fourteen minutes back at 28:28:41. Klein is the first American to win an overall at Sertões.

“Nice to be here,” said Klein after completing the race on Saturday. “It was a really fun last stage here on the beach. It’s pretty sweet. Couldn’t ask for more.”

Marcelo Gastaldi won among cars in his Century CR6-T, beating the Prodrive Hunter of Marcos Baumgart. Gastaldi recently raced the 2022 Baja 1000 and has Dakar Rally experience, while Baumgart’s X Rally Team won the Sertões championship five times before becoming a Prodrive customer for 2023. Baumgart and his brother Cristian, who finished twenty-fourth overall, had impressed in their maiden World Rally-Raid Championship race, the Sonora Rally in April.

Two-time champion Lucas Moraes, now a Toyota Gazoo Racing driver, dominated the first three stages in his Toyota Hilux T1+ before crashing into a tree in Stage #4. Although eliminated from the overall, Moraes salvaged two more stage wins before his rally ended altogether on the penultimate day after a river crossing on the penultimate stage caused water to get into the engine. The issue also befell fellow Hilux driver Sylvio de Barros.

Denisio do Nascimento led the army of Can-Am Mavericks to win the UTV overall by a minute and forty seconds over Rodrigo Varela.

Despite missing the overall top ten for UTVs by less than two minutes, Nelson Piquet Jr. won the UTV 3 category to add cross-country rally to his diverse portfolio of achievements. The Formula One alumnus and inaugural Formula E champion already has some experience outside of pavement as a race winner in Global Rallycross, though his Sertões début in 2020 was the first time he competed in a rally with a navigator.

While Klein is racing for the W2RC, he is not on the entry list for next week’s Desafío Ruta 40 in neighbouring Argentina, presumably as two cross-country rallies in three weeks would be too much of a burden. The Baumgarts and Moraes have also run W2RC races in 2023 but are not taking part. Conversely, Gustavo Gugelmin will enter Argentina as the co-driver for Austin Jones after navigating for brother Sergio at Sertões; they finished forty-sixth in UTV and eighth in the Over 50 class.

Guiga Spinelli finished thirtieth overall for Mitsubishi Motors’ revived Brasilian rally factory programme.

Class winners


Class Overall Finish Number Driver Co-Driver Team Vehicle Total Time
T1 FIA 1 305 Marcelo Gastaldi Cadu Sachs Baja Tek Century CR6-T 28:04:22.07
T1+ 2 302 Marcos Baumgart Kleber Kincea X Rally Team Prodrive Hunter 28:15:01.19
T1 Brasil 308 308 Marcos Moraes Fabio Pedroso MEM Motorsport Prototipo T-Rex 30:22:02.42
Prototype Brasil 11 352 Bartolomeu Nunes Luan Dutra Duarte Faster Rally Team Mitsubishi Triton 35:44:49.22
Super Production 10 357 Gerson Wessler oa Bicuo Faster Rally Team Mitsubishi Triton 35:34:19.53
T2 15 370 Alexandre Trindade Antonio Modesto ATL Cajupi Rally Team Chevrolet S1- 38:39:09.74
T4 14 381 Joaquim Monteiro Rodrigo Melo RMattheis Off Road Can-Am Maverick X3 38:23:56.31
CNV 31 353 Wellington Costa Rodrigo Mendes Chico Racing Mitsubishi Triton 58:12:22.85


Class Overall Finish Number Driver Co-Driver Team Vehicle Total Time
UTV 1 1 104 Denisio do Nascimento Gunnar Dums Bompack Racing Can-Am Maverick X3 28:30:17.61
UTV 2 3 125 Thiago Fraga Alvara Amarante Dango Racing Can-Am Maverick X3 29:03:18.04
UTV 3 11 230 Nelson Piquet Jr. Cesar Peduti Piquet Sports Can-Am Maverick X3 29:26:51.52
UTV Over 45 12 128 Marcelo Tomasoni Andre Munhoz GugelminRacing Can-Am Maverick X3 29:27:55.62
UTV Over 55 20 133 Allan Cestari Weidner Moreeira Cotton Racing Polaris RZR Pro R 29:53:04.95
UTV Rally Over Pro 25 103 Cristiano Batista Robledo Nicoletti Transmaquinas Racing Can-Am Maverick X3 30:20:31.38


Class Overall Finish Number Rider Team Vehicle Total Time
Moto 1 1 21 Mason Klein DM Workshop KTM 450 Rally Replica 28:14:19.96
Moto 2 2 8 Gabriel Bruning Yamaha IMS Rally TEam Yamaha WR 450F 28:28:41.22
Moto 3 10 44 Rummenigge Costa ProRally Yamaha WR 450F 31:46:13.89
Moto Over 45 6 15 Marco Antonio Pereira Go Racing KTM 450 EXC-F 30:27:00.45
Moto Brasil 12 11 Tiago Wernersbach Honda Racing Honda CRF250F 32:02:19.58
Quad 29 97 Wescley Dutra Extreme Rally Team Yamaha Raptor 700 36:10:48.88