CC Terranova and Nobre take second and third in Por Las Pampas Rally
2007 FIA CROSS-COUNTRY RALLY WORLD CUP
POR LAS PAMPAS RALLY (August 28-September 5), round 3
For immediate release
Thursday, September 6th, 2007
BMW X-RAID DRIVERS TERRANOVA AND NOBRE TAKE
SECOND AND THIRD PLACES IN POR LAS PAMPAS RALLY
Fastest stage times for BMW’s Terranova on punishing Chilean stages
IQUIQUE (Chile): The BMW X-Raid Team capped an excellent nine days of gruelling competition in South America by taking second and third positions in the overall classification of the Por Las Pampas Rally (Patagonia-Atacama Rally), round three of the 2007 FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup.
Argentina’s Orlando Terranova and Australian co-driver Lee Palmer claimed three overall fastest stage times, several second fastest times and the runner-up position at the wheel of their X-Raid BMW X3CC. The result marked a superb performance by the South American rookie over some of the most varied terrain in the world.
Brazilian team mate Paulo Nobre and Portuguese co-driver Filipe Palmeiro finished third overall in a similar car to cap an excellent event for the Trebur-based team, which is currently developing the BMW X3CC for the 2008 Dakar Rally.
“This is an excellent result for both Orlando and Paulo and the X-Raid Team,” said X-Raid’s Team Director Sven Quandt. “The Por Las Pampas Rally is one of the most challenging in the calendar and our two privateer drivers have shown that they have the determination to compete against one of the major factory teams.”
“The event was also a useful one for the official X-Raid Team, because it has again proven the reliability of the X3 across a wide range of terrain and special stage surfaces.
“Orlando enjoyed his baptism of fire with the team. He rolled on the first stage across the Andes, but his progress was excellent. The cars coped well with the sections through the salt water on the beaches, although we did have a minor electrical problem, but nothing too serious. I just wish that the event had been two days longer – maybe we could have taken an overall victory.”
The punishing event began on Tuesday, August 28th at the Argentinean winter resort of San Carlos de Bariloche and crossed 4,116km of spectacular terrain en route to a finish at the Tarapaca regional capital of Iquique in the remote Chilean Atacama desert.
Terranova and former enduro mechanic Palmer improved markedly as the event progressed and produced some superb stage performances in the latter days of this year’s Por Las Pampas Rally, arguably the most daunting of all the cross-country events in the world, with the exception of the legendary Dakar.
Terranova pushed his BMW X3CC to the fastest time on the final stage between the copper mining town of Antofagasta and Iquique and on the penultimate special between Bahia Inglesia and Antofagasta. The Argentinean was also second fastest, behind eventual event winner Luc Alphand, on the 228km loop stage around Bahia Inglesia, which included the towering sand dunes to the north-east of Copiapo.
X-Raid drivers featured on the leader boards on each of the days, further emphasising the fact that the X3CC is equally at home in the African Sahara and the extreme heat of the Middle East, as it is on the beaches of Chile and the arid moonscapes of the Atacama desert.
The seventh stage of this year’s Por Las Pampas Rally finished in the fishing village of Bahia Inglesia and Terranova and Nobre set the second and third fastest times. They had done the same on the sixth stage, although they had been unable to repeat the feat on the fifth section between Viva del Mar and La Serena.
But former biker Terranova had been in sensational form on the shortened 54km fourth stage, where he beat former Dakar champion and this year’s Dakar runner-up Luc Alphand with a fastest stage time. Nobre was second quickest, proving the versatility of the X3CC in the hands of private drivers.
Terranova had started the day in third overall, 1h 46m 04s behind Alphand and less than 50 minutes behind the Spaniard José-Luis Monterde. This came as a result of an excellent second fastest time behind Alphand on the third special towards an overnight halt at the celebrated surfing spot in Pichilemu. Team mate Nobre had maintained his challenge in fourth place with Portuguese co-driver Filipe Palmeiro.
The second day had taken the X-Raid Team on a 704km run north along the Pacific coast from Valdivia to Concepcion. The day featured 466km of competitive action, including a run along the beach with the added threat of Pacific waves at high tide and salt water damage to the cars.
Nobre set the third fastest time in his BMW X3CC, but the result meant that the pair held third and fourth places in the overall standings and were handily-placed to challenge Monterde for second position.
The opening special stage was one of the most difficult competitors had ever encountered in cross-country rallying. The section started out from San Carlos de Bariloche and crossed the border into Chile through the mighty Andes mountain range before heading on to Valdivia on the Pacific coastal seaboard.
But deep snow hampered progress and forced the cancellation of the section for the motorcycle contingent. Alphand was fastest for Mitsubishi, with Monterde second overall, but Terranova rolled and continued.
The official BMW X-Raid Team will next be seen in action during the Rally of Morocco at the end of September, where the Dakar Rally development and testing programme continues in earnest over some classic African terrain.
2007 Por Las Pampas Rally – final positions
1. Luc Alphand (F)/Gilles Picard (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution
2. Orlando Terranova (RA)/Lee Palmer (AUS) BMW X3
3. Pablo Nobre (BR)/Flipe Palmeiro (P) BMW X3