Note: Automatic translation
In its 24th edition, the competition continues until Saturday through the heart of the Northeast
It is rare in Brazil for a competition to last more than two decades, especially when it involves big investments from the participants. But this is the trajectory of the RN1500, a dispute already emblematic of the Northeast Region that in 2022 will hold its 24th edition, bringing together teams and pilots of high professional level. With a grid full of competitors driving cars, motorcycles and, especially, the brave UTVs, RN1500 will start on Wednesday (20) to cross the Seridó region, between the Sertão of Paraíba and Potiguar. With a total of 1,288km on the course, the race will end in the exotic landscape of Costa das Dunas, culminating in Natal (RN), next Saturday.
This Wednesday the competitors leave Campina Grande towards Cabeceiras, both in Paraíba, finishing the journey in Acari (RN) after 346km of tracks. Mechanical problems or navigation errors can make the race go into the night for the less fortunate.
First day - After defining the starting order in the prologue held yesterday, the competitors face the first day of challenges. "In general, this race always offers difficult courses, full of rocks, and the most common problems are suspension breaks, tire punctures and even hits on a bigger rock, if you and your navigator are not careful", summarized Bruno Varela, current champion of the UTV category, who will be navigated by Matheus Mazzei. Bruno is also the leader of the Brazilian Cross-Country Rally Championship, of which the RN1500 is the second stage. The first one was in March, in the countryside of Minas Gerais.
"We hope it rains in this year's edition, which certainly won't make things easier. But that's what we're here for: to face everything and overcome ourselves," continues the Can-Am Monster Energy team driver.
114 vehicles - With three victories over 23 editions, the defending champion's team is probably the most successful in the history of the RN1500, a race always seen among the most complex of the national off-road. The other two victories were recorded by Bruno's father, three-time world champion Reinaldo Varela, who finished first overall in 2011 and 2016.
In total, the 2022 edition of the RN1500 will feature 114 vehicles, being 12 cars, 36 motorcycles and 66 UTVs, a vehicle that has dominated the Brazilian off-road scene and is the fastest growing division on the international scene.
In yesterday's prologue, the best bike was the WR 450F of the official Yamaha team, driven by Frenchman Adrien Metge, while the duo Cristiano Batista/Robledo Nicoletti, with a Can-Am Maverick X3, recorded the first time among the UTVs. Reigning champion Bruno Varela, in partnership with navigator Matheus Mazzei, recorded the third fastest time, with Reinaldo Varela and navigator Arthur Carneiro securing the sixth position in the UTV starting order - both with Maverick X3 models. The best car was the Ford Ranger crewed by Rodrigo Ache/Luis Eckel.