CC Alvarez and Van Loon seal 1-2 finish for South Racing in Tunisia

Tunisia Desert Challenge – April 22nd-29th, 2022

For immediate release
Saturday, April 30th, 2022


STAR WARS (TUNISIA): South Racing Can-Am Team’s Fernando Alvarez and Erik van Loon secured a stunning 1-2 finish in the SSV category on the gruelling eight-day Tunisia Desert Challenge, with Alvarez earning a first ever outright victory in his Can-Am Maverick by the margin of 1hr 32min 56sec and also reaching the finish in third place in the general classification.

An event that started out from the island of Djerba and finished at the Star Wars filming location, deep in the Tunisian desert, attracted a strong entry of mainly amateur drivers and riders. Alvarez was able to secure his success with French co-driver Xavier Panseri by setting the third fastest time on the last loop stage around the Star Wars bivouac on Friday.

Dutchman Van Loon is more often seen on FIA Cross-Country events in more powerful T1 machines, but he teamed up with Frenchman Sëbastien Delaunay and South Racing to finish second in the SSV section and fourth overall. Anja Van Loon and Rudolf Meijer were classified in 25th in a third South Racing Can-Am.

South Racing Can-Am Team’s managing director Scott Abraham said: “It was a great rally for the South Racing Can-Am Team, with Fernando and Erik finishing 1-2 in SSV and third and fourth in the general classification. It was a dominating rally from the South Racing Can-Am Team.

“This event was something a little different. We were able to run with no restrictor and were able to utilise the full potential of the Maverick. It was a great week of racing, even if the weather didn’t play along all the time. In the end we managed to get a good stage in at the end to finish at the Star Wars movie set.

“It was a great maiden victory for Fernando on an international cross-country event. It was also pleasing to welcome Erik and Anja to the South Racing team. We now look forward to Andalucia where we go on to defend our lead in the FIA World Rally-Raid Championship.”

Action got underway from Djerba with a short and tricky opener of around 60km. Van Loon recorded the fourth quickest time with Alvarez winning the Prologue in the SSV category by 36 seconds.

As Van Loon’s co-driver Delaunay said: “We opened the track almost all stage after the three cars in front of us were lost and we finished fourth, despite having to slow down a bit at the end. The track was a bit dangerous with no marks on it. We couldn’t see very well and decided to be a bit more defensive.”

Van Loon opened the road again and was quickest on the second 360km special between Djerba and Matous, the Dutchman beating Hugues Lacam by 17min 15sec to snatch the outright lead. Alvarez came home in fifth place and Anja van Loon was 30th.

The third stage ran on a loop around the bivouac in Matous and crews tackled a selective section of 354km, before heading on to Ksar Ghilane on a fourth day that offered 300km of competition. Alvarez claimed the third stage win by 8min 52sec and was third fastest on the next stage where Van Loon dropped time.

The South Racing duo continued to push on through the fifth day, although Van Loon lost around 25 minutes with a small navigational error and endured delays in a small dune that “held us prisoner” for a long time, according to Delaunay. Alvarez finished the day with the second quickest time and retained the outright lead, while Anja van Loon was down in 32nd position.

Day six was cancelled because of extreme desert weather conditions, but competitors still had to travel non-competitively between Ksar Ghilane and Douz in sand storm conditions. The shortened seventh stage between Douz and the Star Wars filming location started on schedule but was stopped because of heavy winds, reduced visibility and safety concerns.

The South Racing Can-Am Team received valuable support for the race programme from Method Wheels, Tensor Tires, Motul, Bell, Jjuan Brake Systems, Lazer and OMP.

2022 Tunisia Desert Challenge – final standings (SSV category):
1. Fernando Alvarez (ESP)/Xavier Panseri (FRA) South Racing Can-Am Maverick X3 22hr 31min 51sec
2. Erik van Loon (NLD)/Sébastien Delaunay (FRA) South Racing Can-Am Maverick X3 24hr 04min 47sec
3. Renaud Niveau (FRA)/Joël Labille (FRA) Can-Am Maverick X3 24hr 57min 41sec
4. Hugues Lacern (FRA)/Max Delfino (FRA) Can-Am Maverick X3 24hr 57min 42sec
5. Sylvain Mautret (FRA)/Delphine Delfino (FRA) Can-Am Maverick X3 25hr 45min 02sec
6. Jan Van Cerven (NLD)/Caspar Schellekens (NLD) Polaris 26hr 15min 43sec
25. Anja Van Loon (NLD)/Rudolf Meijer (NLD) South Racing Can-Am Maverick X3 51hr 55min 08sec

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

Facebook group: South Racing Can-Am










Date issued: 30/04/2022

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