|Desafio Ruta 40: Argentina kicks off Dakar Series - more than 100 vehicles|
Almost 100 vehicles will be on the start line of the fifth edition of the "Desafío Ruta 40" in Argentina (44 motorcycles, 28 quads and 21 cars), the opening event of the 2014 Dakar Series.
With a total of six stages on the menu linking Bariloche and San Juan over a distance of 3,376 kilometers, there will be plenty of opportunities to find out who the top dog of the increasingly competitive pack of the continent's best drivers and riders is.
The clash among two-time off-road Argentinean champion Pablo Rodríguez, fellow countryman Javier Pizzolito (eighth in the 2013 Dakar) and Chile's Daniel Gouet (same place in the 2014 edition) looks set to make the motorcycle category a fiercely contested fight.
This season's first Dakar Series leg will pit them against last year's overall champion David Casteu, as well as Pablo Quintanilla, the most recent winner of the "Desafío Inca" in Peru.
The stakes will be just as high in the quad category, in which the Desafío Ruta 40 will feature none other than the victor of the last Dakar, Ignacio Casale, who needs to come out with all guns blazing to keep his rivals in check and consolidate his position.
The Chilean will have to keep an eye on rising star Jeremías González Ferioli, the winner of last year's Dakar Challenge who has since gone on to become the youngest rider to finish the Dakar of all time... sitting pretty in sixth place overall. If he is to confirm his progression, the young Argentinean will have to prove he can match Sebastián Halpern, Lucas Bonetto, Daniel Mazzucco and Sergio Lafuente punch-for-punch.
The field in the car category gives Argentina's Alejandro Yacopini, Omar Gandara and Javier Campillay reason for hope… but the Dakar Challenge drivers, who tend to do well in the Desafío Ruta 40, will be ready to pounce on the slightest opportunity.
All informations about the rally you can find at the official website at [ DESAFIORUTA40.COM ].
2014/04/05 | 17:07 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/ASO