DAK Another fastest stage time enables South Racing Can-Am Team's Varela to extend his SxS lead


Leg 12: Chilecito – San Juan
Special stage: 523km; Liaison sections: 270km

For immediate release
Thursday, January 18th 2018


● Larrauri damages suspension and suffers delays on gruelling stage into San Juan
● Reported electrical issues cost Uribe his third place in the overall standings

SAN JUAN (ARGENTINA): South Racing Can-Am Team’s Reinaldo Varela and Gustavo Gugelmin began the longest special stage of the Dakar Rally with an overall lead of 44min 33sec in the SxS category and reached San Juan in Argentina with an advantage of 1hr 03min 27sec after recording another fastest stage time. They beat stage runner-up Claude Fournier by 11min 42sec and closest rival Patrice Garrouste by 18min 54sec on the day.

The three South Racing-built Can-Ams made a strong start to the day’s tiring 523km special stage from Chilecito to San Juan. Leonel Larrauri and Fernando Imperatrice had climbed to seventh overall at the start of the day after Peruvian Anibal Aliaga retired from the race and they were the quickest of the SxS contenders through PC1 before dropping over three hours to PC2 and further time waiting for the T4 support truck to repair their Can-Am’s damaged rear suspension.

Varela began the special behind Garrouste and trailed the Frenchman by 1min 19sec to PC1. But Garrouste dropped time over the subsequent kilometres and Varela had extended his virtual overall lead by 16min 31sec at PC2, only to see his on-stage advantage whittled down to just 28 seconds at the end of section one of the special. The Brazilian delivered a polished second half performance, however, to increase his lead to take into the final two days.

Juan Carlos Uribe and Javier Uribe Godoy started the day in third overall in their South Racing-built Can-Am running with support from Can-Am Perú, Alsol, Friopacking and Chiawel Agro. The Peruvians dropped 15 minutes through PC1 and were running over three hours behind the leading duo at PC1 before stopping with reported electrical issues.

Today and tomorrow

The section between Chilecito and San Juan offered a mammoth special stage of 523km and 270km of liaison sections. River crossings, tricky navigation, rocks and short sandy trails were included in a day’s route that started to the west of Chilecito and finished near to San Juan.

Tomorrow, the penultimate stage heads in an easterly direction from San Juan to Córdoba. Teams will tackle a selective section of 369km through the dunes of San Juan and across the Pampas de las Salinas before finishing over some notorious WRC-style tracks en route to a liaison to the night halt via the town of Vila Carlos Paz.

What they said:

Scott Abraham, Managing Director, South Racing Can-Am Team
“This was another consistent stage from Reinaldo and Gustavo and they did enough to maintain their lead with two days to go.

“Unfortunately, Leo, this morning, damaged the front suspension again and had to wait for T4 assistance. He lost several hours and will hopefully arrive later. Juan Carlos has a reported electrical problem but we don’t have any further information at this stage.”

2018 Dakar Rally – SS12 result (SxS category @23.50hrs CET):
1. Reinaldo Varela (BRA)/Gustavo Gugelmin (BRA) South Racing Can-Am 9hrs 27min 12sec
2. Claude Fournier (FRA)/Szymon Gospodarczyk (POL) Polaris RZR 1000 XP 9hrs 38min 54sec
3. Jose Luis Pena Campo (ESP)/Rafael Tornabell (ESP) Polaris RZR 1000 9hrs 45min 27sec
4. Patrice Garrouste (FRA)/Steven Griener (FRA) Polaris RZR 1000 Turbo 9hrs 46min 06sec
TBA. Leonel Larrauri (ARG)/Fernando Imperatrice (ARG) South Racing Can-Am TBA

2018 Dakar Rally – positions after SS12 (SxS category @23.50hrs CET):
1. Reinaldo Varela (BRA)/Gustavo Gugelmin (BRA) South Racing Can-Am 64hrs 10min 28sec
2. Patrice Garrouste (FRA)/Steven Griener (FRA) Polaris RZR 1000 Turbo 65hrs 13min 55sec
3. Jose Luis Pena Campo (ESP)/Rafael Tornabell (ESP) Polaris RZR 1000 73hrs 15min 08sec
4. Claude Fournier (FRA)/Szymon Gospodarczyk (POL) Polaris RZR 1000 XP 73hrs 19min 02sec
TBA. Leonel Larrauri (ARG)/Fernando Imperatrice (ARG) South Racing Can-Am TBA


For further information: contact Scott Abraham, South Racing, Email: Scott.Abraham@southracing.com, Tel: + 49 172 6662880.

Website: www.southracing-canam.com
Facebook group: South Racing Can-Am
Instagram: SouthRacingCanAm

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Date issued: 18/01/2018

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