Brazilian teams take nine of the 11 first places in the UTV category
Something like a _Brazilian Storm_ - the Brazilian invasion that became famous in world surfing - is happening in Argentina's main rally. The South American Rally Race (SARR) has been seen as a kind of mini-Dakar for using routes in the same regions where the world's biggest cross-country race was held between the years 2009 and 2018. And in the first of nine days of racing, on Thursday (16), the Brazilian teams were left to their own devices: with victory for the duo formed by the current Rally dos Sertões champion, Rodrigo Varela, and Dakar 2017 champion, Lourival Roldan, the country's competitors won nine of the eleven first places. The exception were the fifth and eighth places, which were secured by Argentinean duos.
Another highlight in the UTV category is the participation of Pâmela Bozzano, who became the first Brazilian driver to compete in the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia at the beginning of January. Pâmela competes alongside navigator Cadu Sachs and ended the day in 11th place. "It was a very dangerous day. The stretch was very sinuous and with piloting up and down mountains, some very narrow parts, dangerous, you had to be very precise in your piloting," says the winner Rodrigo Varela. "But we managed to pass well. Our UTV finished in great condition and we managed to open a good advantage on this first day. So it was a great start," added the Can-Am Monster Energy Team driver.
Crash - Three-time world champion Reinaldo Varela, Rodrigo's father, and Argentinean navigator Fernando Imperatice crashed in the middle of the race precisely in a narrow and very winding stretch. "A couple of other UTVs stopped to help us. Fortunately, the damage was not serious and our car started to function normally again. But we lost a lot of time," said the experienced driver, who ended the day in 18th place among the 28 teams entered in the UTV category.
This Friday, the SARR 2023 continues on to its second special stage, a 240km long section between Santiago del Estero and Santa María, in addition to another 244km of travel used to reach the starting point and return to camp. The South American Rally Race runs until the 25th, with only one rest day on February 21st.
1. Rodrigo Varela/Lourival Roldan (Brasil), tempo de 4h13min41s para 308km
2. Fabio Pirondi/Daniel Spolidorio (Brasil), a 3min38s
3. Jorge Wagenfuhr Junior/Humberto Ribeiro (Brasil), a 5min31s
4. Pedro MacDowell/Enio Bozzano Júnior (Brasil), a 11min10s
5. Nazareno Lopéz/Ricardo Torlaschi (Argentina), a 14min57s
6. Allan Cestari/Weidner Moreira (Brasil), a 21min9s
7. Ivan Rodrigo Kuhnen/Wellington Rezende Jr. (Brasil), a 22min18s
8. Pablo Macua/Pablo Ingaramo (Argentina), a 22min10
9. Maxwell Fernadez/Gustavo Bortolanza (Brasil), a 23min6s
10. Rui Carlos Gengnagel/Andre Venson (Brasil), a 25min47s
11. Pâmela Bozzano/Cadu Sachs (Brasil), a 26min30s
18. Reinaldo Varela/Fernando Imperatice (Brasil/Argentina), a 43min14s
Automatic translation from the original Portuguese version