CC Two-pronged global April cross-country rallying challenge for South Racing
For immediate release
Tuesday, March 28th, 2017
TWO-PRONGED GLOBAL APRIL CROSS-COUNTRY
RALLYING CHALLENGE FOR SOUTH RACING
· Garces and Schröder to represent team at Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
· Bolivian Gutierrez and Argentina’s Halpern to start Desafio Ruta 40 Sur
ABU DHABI (UAE): South Racing gets its hectic programme of cross-country rallying underway with two events on opposite sides of the world at the start of April.
The German-based team will field a Ford Ranger and a Nissan Navara at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, round three of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, on April 1-6 and two Toyota Hiluxes at the new Desafio Ruta 40 Sur, the first of two rounds of this year’s Argentine Cross-Country Rally Championship.
The Chilean crew of Hernan Garces and Juan-Pablo Latrach will crew the team’s Ford Ranger on the demanding desert route of the five-day Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and the German father and son crew of Jürgen and Maximilian Schröder wheel out the Nissan Navara.
Seven time zones behind and deep in the heart of Patagonia in southern Argentina, the team will also field a pair of Toyota Hiluxes for the Argentinean duo of Sebastien Halpern and Eduardo Pulenta and the Bolivian Rodrigo Gutierrez and his new South American-based Croatian navigator Tomislav Glavic.
Halpern and Uruguayan navigator Sergio Lafuente won last year’s Desafio Ruta 40 event in La Rioja and will be aiming to make it two in succession for South Racing. Team-mates Ricardo Martinez and Fernando Alvarez were fifth and eighth overall last year. On this occasion, rivals for Halpern and Gutierrez include the Argentinean drivers, Jorge Fontana, Jorge Mansilla, Emiliano Spataro and José Garcia.
“It’s a hectic week in terms of planning and logistics with two events at the same time in the Middle East and South America,” said South Racing’s managing director Scott Abraham. “We are back to defend our title at the Desafio Ruta 40. We have two good teams and everyone is looking forward to the new route in the south of Argentina. The last time we were in this region was on the Dakar in 2009 and 2010.
“It’s always great to compete over the big dunes in Abu Dhabi. We are hoping for a good result. It’s Hernan’s first time at the event, but he took a good result with eighth in Qatar last year and is confident that he can take a good finishing position. Jürgen achieved a good result in Morocco and heads to the dunes in Abu Dhabi for the first time. He has experience of sand and dunes from the Dakar and he and his son Maximilian are looking forward to the challenge and hope to achieve a good finish in the Nissan.”
The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge has been at the forefront of the FIA World Cup since its first inclusion in the championship in 1993. Two South Racing Toyotas finished finished 16th and 17th overall last year in the hands of Nunzio Coffaro and Fernando Alvarez.
Garces and Latrach enjoyed their first experience of the Middle East last year and will be hoping to build upon the solid eighth place they achieved at Qatar’s Sealine Cross-Country Rally. It will be the first time for their German team-mates at an event that starts with a super special stage at the Al-Forsan International Resort on April 1 and then heads deep into the Western Deserts of the UAE’s Rub Al-Khali for five sections littered with punishing sand dunes and insipid heat between April 2-6.
In stark contrast, Desafio Ruta 40 takes its name from Argentina’s National Road No. 40, the longest and most spectacular in the country. It runs for 5,200km from Cabo Virgenes in the province of Santa Cruz all the way to La Quiaca and passes through 11 provinces and the Patagonia, Cuyo and North regions.
The new Desafio Ruta 40 Sur takes crews to the south of Argentina, while a second Desafio Ruta North will take place on August 25-31 to wrap up the Argentine off-road series.
After technical scrutineering and administration checks on April 1, the new southern event starts on April 2 in Neuquén. The first loop stage around the largest city in Patagonia takes centre stage on April 3 and the second special on April 4 heads in the direction of Villa Regina, a town in the General Roco Department of the province of Rio Negro. Teams are based at Villa Regina overnight and then the Desafio Ruta 40 Sur heads on to an overnight halt in Las Grutas on April 5 after the third leg.
Stages four and five take place around the Las Grutas bivouac on April 6 and 7 and the event finishes at the beach resort town in the Department of San Antonio the same afternoon.
For further information: contact Scott Abraham, South Racing, Email: Scott.Abraham@southracing.com, Tel: + 49 172 6662880.
Facebook group: South Racing