PUNISHING ARGENTINEAN STAGE INTO BELÉN COSTS SOUTH RACING CAN-AMS VALUABLE TIME
● Varela remains in control of SxS category; Uribe slips to third
● Leonel Larrauri calls on T4 support team after damaging his Maverick X3
BELÉN (ARGENTINA): The South Racing Can-Am Team endured a dramatic 10th special stage on the Dakar Rally and a very difficult competitive section, held in punishing heat, between Salta and Belén in Argentina.
Reinaldo Varela and Gustavo Gugelmin began the day with an overall SxS category lead of 1hr 34min 31sec, but dropped 12 minutes before the first of the checkpoints with a belt failure and continued to cede time to their rivals as the stage progressed with a fuel pressure issue. They reached the end of the first timed section in fourth, 1hr 43min 47sec behind Frenchman Patrice Garrouste, and went on to complete the stage in fourth to see their overall advantage whittled down to 48min 12sec.
Juan Carlos Uribe and Javier Uribe Godoy held second overall at the start of the day in their Can-Am built by South Racing and running with additional support from Can-Am Perú, Alsol, Friopacking and Chiawel Agro. They maintained a consistent pace during the day, reached the finish of the first part 42min 37sec behind Garrouste, and went on to record the second quickest time, albeit 1hr 09min 30sec off the stage win. It meant that the Peruvian slipped to third in the rankings, 11min 34sec behind Garrouste.
With temperatures into the high thirties Centigrade on the deceptive gravel tracks and through the river crossings and camel grass around Belén, the Argentine duo of Leonel Larrauri and Fernando Imperatrice began the day third on the road in the second of the South Racing Maverick X3s.
They moved up to second at PC1, but badly damaged the Maverick X3’s suspension and chassis after a collision with a rock after 194km. The Argentines were forced to wait for the team’s T4 support truck and were towed to the end of the first section of the special with the loss of four hours. Larrauri will be hoping that his Can-Am can be repaired before the restart to Chilecito on Wednesday.
Today and tomorrow
Following the cancellation of the stage from Tupiza to Salta, action resumed with a special stage of 373km in Argentina between the northern city and the town of Belén. The stage began after the long road section from Salta and offered a section of sand dunes, in addition to numerous river crossings, deceptive navigation and tracks as high as 2,900 metres above sea level.
Tomorrow, lower altitudes will be more prevalent and outside temperatures will be much higher on what promises to be a very tricky pass through the baking hot white sand dunes at Fiambalá that have caused numerous problems for many competitors previous Dakar rallies. The special will run for 280km and a liaison section then guides teams to the night halt at the town of Chilecito in La Rioja Province.
What they said:
Scott Abraham, Managing Director, South Racing Can-Am Team
“It was a difficult day for the team. Reinaldo was running well at the start of the stage. Then he blew a belt and continued with no problems until kilometre 195 when he had a fuel pressure issue, which he managed to fix on the stage and then he continued on to the end. He also had some small suspension issues with the new damper setting. We lost a lot of time overall, but we are still in a good position to capitalise over the next few days.
“Unfortunately for Leo, at kilometre 194 of the first special stage today, he hit a rock in the track and ripped the rear suspension out of the car and damaged the chassis. He was dragged by the T4 into the neutralisation and the team is repairing the car with the hope of keeping him in the race.”
2018 Dakar Rally – SS10 result (SxS category @02.45hrs CET):
1. Patrice Garrouste (FRA)/Steven Griener (FRA) Polaris RZR 1000 Turbo 6hrs 37min 07sec
2. Juan-Carlos Uribe (PER)/Javier Uribe Godoy (PER) Can-Am 7hrs 46min 37sec
3. Jose Luis Pena Campo (ESP)/Rafael Tornabell (ESP) Polaris RZR 1000 8hrs 09min 07sec
4. Reinaldo Varela (BRA)/Gustavo Gugelmin (BRA) South Racing Can-Am 8hrs 21min 22sec
2018 Dakar Rally – positions after SS10 (SxS category @02.45hrs CET):
1. Reinaldo Varela (BRA)/Gustavo Gugelmin (BRA) South Racing Can-Am 48hrs 36min 53sec
2. Patrice Garrouste (FRA)/Steven Griener (FRA) Polaris RZR 1000 Turbo 49hrs 29min 05sec
3. Juan-Carlos Uribe (PER)/Javier Uribe Godoy (PER) Can-Am 49hrs 36min 39sec