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Rally dos Sertões: Brazilians celebrates maiden titles in Sertões Rally.

After covering 4.776 kilometers, passing trough six Brazilian states, the 15th edition of the International Sertões Rally ended with new brazilian wins ate the Farol da Barra, in Salvador (BA). The drizzle falling in the Bahia capital didn’t discouraged the fans that waited for the champions. José Hélio was the winner among the motorcycles for the third time (1999/2003/2007). Maurício Neves and Clécio Maestrelli won for the first time among the cars and, in the heaviest machines, the trucks, Edu Piano/Solon Mendes/Davi Fonseca grabbed the title with a large margin (Edu Piano, from São Paulo, has already won the Sertõs in 2005, in the car category). IN the quads, this year’s champion was Maurício Costa Ramos, also known as Índio.

The rider Zé Hélio, from São Paulo, won the title of the International Sertões Rally for the third time. Right after finishing today’s Special, with 404 kilometers between the capitals Aracaju (SE) and Salvador (BA), he made sure to say that he won two titles. "I’m the champion in my category and also the first in the overall standings", he commented. Zé Hélio raced, among the motorcycles, in the Super Production up to 450 cc.

Happy with his performance and relaxed after being sure that a problem with his navigation equipment wouldn’t stop his way to the win, Zé Hélio praised the event’s organization. "Dunas Race topped expectations and made us racing through the limit to face the Specials. The first days were ate a World Championship level", he said. The second placed among the motorcycles was Frenchman Cyril Despres, winner of Sertões in 2006 and two times champion of the Rally Dakar.

The competition level also pleased the new champion among the quads. Maurício Costa Ramos, also known as Índio, won the challenge and put na end to the hegemony of Carlo Collet (champion in 2001/2002/2003/2004/2006) and Robert Naji Nahas (winner in 2005). "This win means that the category is growing after our efforts. Technically the level was very high, with Specials in many kinds of grounds and with different obstacles. Congratulations to the promoters", said Índio.

Among the cars, another maiden win. Maurício Neves and hi co-driver Clecio Maestrelli took the title to the Paraná state. Before the start off, the duo showed tranquility. "I’ve been trying to win the Sertões Rally for seven years, and I think the time has come", commented Neves. The driver doesn’t like to celebrate before crossing the line. In 2004, he had an experience that taught him to be cautious and now he believes that the title is in his hands just after the end of the challenge. "That year the traction of my car broke in the worst moment that was possible, two days before the final line. The Sertões is very though and you need to respect it from the start off until the last day. It means that all the moments are very important", he said. After finishing the timed course, he finally screamed and celebrated the win: "It’s over! It’s over!".

In the heavyweight category of the rally, a newcomer was the best. Edu Piano entered this year in the truck challenge and won the title. Sided by his teammates Solon Mendes and Davi Fonseca, he left Goiânia, after the promotional start, leading the field and kept in front of all rivals to the end. Edu Piano yet had a titlte among the cars, in 2005.

The Sertões International Rally is organized and promoted by Dunas Race and is sponsored by Goodyear, Secretaria de Esportes do Governo da Bahia, HSBC bank and Petrobras. Co-sponsored by SAMA/Eternit and Tam Express, and counts with the support of Governo de Goiás/Ministério do Turismo, Governo de Tocantins, Yamaha, Shopping Flamboyant, Sparco/Lico, Oitis Hotel, Helimed, Webventure, Revista 4x4 & Cia., Rádio Eldorado and Rádio Interativa.

2007/08/20 | 13:34 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Vipcomm

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