CC South Racing fall short in quest for defence of Rally dos Sertoes title
24th Rally dos Sertões, Brazil
September 3-10, 2016
For immediate release
Sunday, September 11th, 2016
SOUTH RACING AND DIVINO FOGÃO RALLY TEAM FALL SHORT IN QUEST TO DEFEND RALLY DOS SERTÕES TITLE
· Rally dos Sertões victory falls to Brazil’s Cristian Baumgart and Beco Andreotti
PALMAS (BRAZIL): South Racing and the Divino Fogäo Rally Team were not able to defend their title in Brazil’s challenging seven-day Rally dos Sertões.
The teams joined forces to run the Brazilian duo of Reinaldo Varela and Gustavo Gugelmin in the punishing off-road rally and were inside the top three overall positions until the fifth day, when the Toyota Hiluxes’s engine let go on the selective section between Maratona and Luis Eduardo Magalhäes on Thursday afternoon.
This left the door open for Cristian Baumgart and Beco Andreotti to reach Palmas in first position and claim the winner’s spoils on one of the toughest cross-country events in South America. South Africa’s Lance Woolridge finished second by just 67 seconds and the experienced Brazilian and former winner Guilerme Spinelli rounded off the podium places.
“Sertões is a great rally and returning this year to the more traditional routes was a challenge for the team and the car, ” said South Racing’s managing director Scott Abraham. “Reinaldo and Gustavo were strong all the way through until the engine failure put them out of the race. Opening the road each day presented a lot of challenges, with overtaking the UTVs and bikes.
“On the third stage, in the dust of a UTV, they hit a hole and damaged the steering. Reinaldo also fractured a rib. We will be back next year, stronger and wiser for the 25th edition of the race.”
Varela made the perfect start to his challenge for honours by winning the tiny 2km Prologue stage, near Goiãnia, in a time of 2min 00.3sec that gave him an advantage of 1.8 seconds over Marcos Baumgart to take into the first of the demanding selective sections between Goiãnia and Padre Bernardo on September 4.
Varela settled into second position on the first of the longer stages behind Cristian Baumgart His fellow Brazilian won the stage by 3min 09sec, as South African driver Lance Woolridge was third and Marcos Baumgart held fourth.
The second selective section wound its way from Padre Bernardo to Cavalcante and offered 374.84km of competition after a road transfer section of 34.27km. Baumgart extended his advantage with the quickest time and Woolridge inherited second position when Varela was penalised two hours for supposedly ignoring a Sentinel system activated by a car running behind and the Brazilian slipped from second to 21st overall.
The Brazilian had been opening the road and was running in the dust of a UTV. Only when Varela left the road over an hour later did it come to light that Baumgart had been running behind. The team appealed against the decision and began the subsequent stage with the penalty imposed.
Stage three headed out of Cavalcante and crews drove towards the next overnight halt at Posse. Varela faced a daunting fight back through the field on a section that totalled 643.43km, including the non-competitive road liaisons.
Cristian Baumgart managed to maintain an outright lead of 15min 50sec from the stage- winning Marcos Baumgart and Varela climbed five places in the overall standings to 16th overall. It could so easily have been a stage win for the Divino Fogäo Rally Team, which was leading the special in the virtual classification when Reinaldo hit a large hole that damaged the Toyota’s power steering and cost him valuable time. The Brazilian had been overtaking a motorcycle in the dust and would have been third overall without the penalty in situ.
Stage four ran for 361.94km and headed out of Posse in the direction of Luis Eduardo Magalhäes. Varela and his team won their appeal with the Confederação Brasileira de Automobilismo (CBA) against the two-hour penalty and the Brazilian was promoted to third position and maintained that through the stage with the fourth quickest time and headed into the night halt a mere 6min 02sec behind Woolridge. Cristian Baumgart held an outright advantage of 46min 48sec, while Guilherme Spinelli claimed the stage win.
The fifth and sixth stages passed between Maratona, Luis Eduardo Magalhäes, Mateiros and Ponte Alte featured a gruelling Marathon section without service support. But Varela’s rally ended in the opening 461.14km section when the Toyota’s engine let go and sidelined the crew within two days of the finish and cost them third place. Baumgart extended his lead over Woolridge to 47min 08sec.
The second section headed from Mateiros to Ponte Alte ad Baumgart maintained an overall advantage of 45min 28sec to take into the final 243.61km stage between Ponte Alte and Palmas on September 10. There were no late dramas for the Brazilian and he reached the finish 39min 24sec in front of Woolridge, who snatched second place from Spinelli.
24th Rally dos Sertões – final positions (unofficial):
1. Cristian Baumgart (BRA)/Beco Anddreotti (BRA) Ford Ranger 28hr 39min 47sec
2. Lance Woolridge (AFR)/Marcelo Haseyama (BRA) Ford Ranger 29hr 19min 12sec
3. Guilherme Spinelli (BRA)/Youssef Haddad (BRA) Mitsubishi ASX 29hr 20min 19sec
4. Rafael Cassol (BRA)/Lelio Carneiro (BRA) Sherpa 34hr 21min 24sec
5. Pedro Prado (BRA)/Joaquim Bicudo (BRA) Mitsubishi X10 34hr 54min 33sec
For further information: contact Scott Abraham, South Racing, Email: Scott.Abraham@southracing.com, Tel: + 49 172 6662880.