|Rally dos Sertões: Both Ford Rangers reached top speeds above 175 km/h.|
Less than 7.5 minutes split the top-4 cars in the T1 FIA class of Brazil`s "Rally dos Sertões": Tuesday the competitors faced a 209 km stage, in a total of 360 kilometers from Catalão (to the bivouac located in Paracatu, already in Minas Gerais state.
Once again, the South Afican NWM Ford Rangers 4x4 brought by the Baumgart brothers´ "X Rally Team" showed a staggering pace, closing the gap heading the lead of the seven-stage competition, and reaching the top speed of 179 km/h in the Ford 5-litre V8 engine.
The Ford Ranger #316 with Cristian Baumgart/Beco Andreotti became second, just 1:18 minutes behind the stage-winning Overdrive Toyota Hilux of Reinaldo Varela/Gustavo Gugelmin. Mitsubishi´s Guilherme Spinelli/Youssef Haddad, who won Monday´s stage, were third, 40 seconds behind the fastest Ford Ranger.
"I have to tell, it was a crazy race today," said Christian Baumgart. "The design of the track allowed the drivers to see each other several times during the stage, so we could see how we were going. Is was a little bit out of Sertões standards, but it was good fun, especially in the final kilometers, when we´ve reached a good top speed. We´ve got two long days ahead of us."
The X-Rally Ford Ranger #303 of Marcos Baumgart/Kleber Cincea reached fourth position once more - only 1:16 minutes behind the Mitsubishi ASX Proto of Spinelli. The quartet shows a close competition, and the gap between the top-4 cars is only 7:28 mins after three stages and 836 kilometers run.
Tomorrow they move another 585 kilometers from Paracatu to São Francisco, with a 364 km stage, the longest of the Sertões so far and the one before the marathon stage.
"One more day, one day less to go in the marathon-stage," reported Marcos Baumgart. "Our goal is to grow more and more in this rally, and we could already feel some evolution. Wednesday is another day and we want to get closer to our competitors."
"The thing is: This car is resistant, tough, and I think if I was with any other car today we would be out of the race, because I hit a hole in the stage and absolutely nothing happened to the car. It´s unbelievable."
2014/08/27 | 17:07 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/BERNUCI | PIC: WEBVENTURE