|Desafio Ruta 40: Caselli, Bonetto and Roma kings of Argentinian Rally.|
After six days of competition, the fourth edition of the Desafío Ruta 40 was won by Kurt Caselli (KTM) in bikes, Lucas Bonetto (Honda) in quads and Joan “Nani” Roma (Mini) in cars.
For their part, Alberto Ontiveros (Beta), Jeremías González Ferioli (Yamaha) and Sebastián Guayasamín (Toyota) were victorious in the Dakar Challenge and earned their place in the Dakar 2014 in the process.
It was not clear who the winners were going to be right up until the final kilometres. The Desafio Ruta 40 ended with a final special stage of 136 km and was marked by the fall of Helder Rodrigues and the victory of Kurt Caselli.
After his first participation in the Dakar last January, in which he won two stages, he is now well and truly on board by achieving his first major success, finishing in front of Francisco “Chaleco” López and Marc Coma, his two teammates who made up a 100% KTM podium.
Up until the last day of the race the American rider was on the heels of Chaleco, whom he ended up beating by 43 seconds in the final general classification. Finishing second – as in the Dakar 2013 – the Chilean rider finished in front of his new teammate Marc Coma, who nevertheless consolidated his position at the head of the FIM World Championship.
While Helder Rodrígues was forced to abandon with a hip injury sustained in a fall at the start of the special stage, his Honda partner Javier Pizzolito took on the responsibility of representing the Japanese make with 4th place. The Top 5 of the final classification was completed by David Casteu and his Yamaha.
In quads, Lucas Bonetto (Honda) was up to par with his own expectations by taking his third victory in the Desafío Ruta 40. After dominating almost all the stages, he finished ahead of Sebastián Halpern (Yamaha Raptor) and Rafal Sonik (Yamaha Raptor).
The racer from Tierra del Fuego took charge in the first stage and for the next three days battled it out with Gastón González (Yamaha Raptor) for the next three days, who eventually lost ground and allowed Bonetto to go for the finish line without pressure.
On four wheels, the battle for victory was played out throughout the week between two Minis, with Joan Roma soon opening up a gap on Orlando Terranova.
The Argentinian driver – the title holder – was held back by a 15-minute penalty, which allowed Roma to drive the second part of the race while managing the gap, which was 2’05’’ at the end. The podium was completed by the Bolivian Marco Bulacia (Toyota), more than six hours behind the Mini duo.
The Desafio Ruta 40 is also a showcase for the Dakar Challenge, reserved to competitors who have never taken part in the Dakar. The “race within a race” was dominated in the bikes category by Alberto Ontiveros (Beta) for the entire second half of the rally.
At 16th in the general classification, he maintains his position and will share the benefits of an invitation to the Dakar with the 18-year-old quad rider Jeremías González Ferioli (Yamaha Raptor), who could try and confirm his status as the great hope in the speciality in the Dakar (6th overall). In cars, Sebastian Guayasamín won his duel with José Luis Locascio and is already thinking about his participation in the Dakar 2014.
2013/06/26 | 18:25 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/ASO