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Desafío Ruta 40 2023: Both X-raid vehicles in the top 10
- Strong performances were not rewarded
- Halpern finishes sixth in the T1-classification, Ferreira eighth in the T3-category
With great anticipation, the X-raid team had travelled to the Desafío Ruta 40, the fourth of five events in the World Rally Raid Championship. In the past, the team from Trebur had been able to achieve several victories at the rally in Argentina. X-raid also secured victories in four editions of the Dakar Rally, which led through South America. But this year, the team experienced some setbacks due to technical problems. The two Argentines Sebastian Halpern and Bernardo "Ronnie" Graue finished sixth in the MINI JCW Rally Plus. Joao Ferreira and Manuel Porém (both POR) finished the rally in eighth place in the X-raid 1000R Turbo.
Both X-raid vehicles, the MINI JCW Rally Plus and the X-raid 1000R Turbo Side-by-Side, are constantly being developed and tested not only in tests but also in competitions.
Halpern initially got off to a very good start in his home race. In the prologue and on the first special stage he secured third place and was thus on course for the podium. But problems on the following two days set him back and prevented him from making it onto the podium. On the last two special stages, Halpern and Graue showed what could have been possible by finishing the day in fourth and second place.
Sebastian Halpern: "The Desafío Ruta 40 was very beautiful, but also difficult. The stages were long and offered every kind of terrain: gravel, sand, dunes - everything was represented. The navigation was also a challenge. Unfortunately, we had no luck in this rally. Nevertheless, we enjoyed driving here. Many thanks to the team for their hard work. Next year we will return stronger."
Ferreira had also started well in the Desafío Ruta 40. But problems on the first special stage cost the Portuguese a lot of time and he dropped back to 14th overall. Despite the setback, Ferreira did not give up and used the following stages to work his way back to the front. The Portuguese rider even managed to take the stage win on the fourth stage and to conquer fifth place overall. Unfortunately, his performance was not rewarded: on the last day, he was again on course for victory, but was stopped by technical problems. In the end, he had to settle for eighth place.
Joao Ferreira: "It was really fun to race in Argentina, despite the problems we had. The tracks are fun and very challenging - as they should be. Hopefully we can be back here next year."
After two events in the Americas, the FIA Word Rally Raid Championship moves to Africa. The Rally du Maroc will close the season in October and is also the last major rally before the 2024 Dakar in Saudi Arabia.
Ruta 40 // overall standings (T1-category)
1. N. Al-Attyiah / M. Baumel – Toyota – 15h 10m 03s
2. J. Yacopini / D. Oliveras – Toyota – 15h 32m 06s
3. Y. Al-Rajhi / T. Gottschalk – Toyota – 15h 40m 30s
4. E. Amos / P. Ceci – Toyota – 16h 04m 57s
5. D. Krotov / K. Zhiltsov – Toyota – 18h 08m 33s
6. S. Halpern / R. Graue – MINI JCW Rally Plus – 35h 43m 24s
Ruta 40 // overall standings (T3-category)
1. M. Guthrie / K. Walch – MCE-5 – 16h 22m 31s
2. C. Gutierrez / P. Moreno – Can-Am – 16h 38m 49s
3. A. Jones / G. Gugelmin – Can-Am – 16h 50m 14s
4. F. Lopez / B. Jacomy – Can-Am – 16h 56m 18s
5. H. Garces / P. Latrach – Can-Am – 17h 27m 06s
8. J. Ferreira / M. Porém – X-raid 1000R Turbo – 33h 25m 49s