|Desafió Inca: 89 teams to start in the first edition of new Rally in Peru.|
It is now time for the last fine-tuning before the 89 vehicles registered tackle the first edition of the Desafio Inca. 39 bikes, 28 quads and 22 cars are expected at scrutineering tomorrow in Paracas. On completion of the three days of competition, the last event on the Dakar Series will also designate the last winners on the Dakar Challenge.
The region of Pisco is once again at the heart of the world of rally-raids. Like on the 2012 and 2013 editions of the Dakar, the riders and drivers will be doing battle on the dunes of the Ica Desert. Three days of competition are on the menu with more than 1,000 kilometers of special stages to be covered, which present the opportunity to Cyril Despres to pick up his first victory behind the handlebars of a Yamaha.
From the five times Dakar winner’s standpoint, the journey to Peru represents the start of the final straight on the run-up to the main event in January: “I see this competition as an opportunity to ride in tough competitive conditions on a terrain similar to what we will have to deal with on the next Dakar. Until now, I haven’t been able to test the Yamaha on big dunes and on stages that are sandy from start to finish. That’s my objective for these three days”.
Logically, in light of the test to which he intends to subject his machine, Despres should be battling for the leading places. He will come up against another French rider on a Yamaha, David Casteu, who will also be one of the favourites for the title of Dakar Series champion for 2013, following his 2nd place in June on the Desafio Ruta 40. The Frenchmen will have to overcome a Chilean contingent which is not to be sniffed at, with in particular Daniel Gouet, 12th on the Dakar 2013, and the Prohens brothers.
South America should be expressing itself fully in the quad category, which has become a speciality of the continent. The battle will take place in particular between the Argentineans, including Lucas Bonetto (4th on the Dakar) and Sebastian Halpern (2nd in 2011), and the Chileans, led by Ignacio Casale (2nd on the last Dakar). The Peruvians also showed last January that they are a force to be reckoned with: Ignacio Flores, winner of the first stage on the Dakar 2013, will be in attendance to offer a timely reminder.
In the car race, Brazilian Guilherme Spinelli, second on the Rally dos Sertoes in August behind Stéphane Peterhansel, is deemed by many to be the favourite. However, it is in the heart of the dunes that he will have to prove his superiority in his Mitsubishi ASX, over the Peruvians Ramon Ferreyros and Roberto Pardo in particular, who can nonetheless rely on an in-depth knowledge of the terrain to try and spring a surprise on the favourite.
Finally, the Desafio Inca will be the setting for the season’s last leg of the Dakar Challenge, which enables emerging riders and drivers to win their registration for the Dakar. For this Peruvian leg, the three categories are all involved: the battle is set to be intense in the bike category, with 13 riders registered. There will be even more in the quad race: 16 riders will be fighting for their place on the starting line at Rosario on 5th January.
2013/10/02 | 19:09 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/ASO