CDI Juha Kankkunen leads 87 cars into Caminos del Inca in Peru
Caminos del Inca 2007 (Incas Rally 2007)
FINLAND’S JUHA KANKKUNEN SET TO LEAD BUMPER ENTRY INTO CAMINOS DEL INCA
Great Britain represented by Howard Patterson and Simon Nutter
Peruvian teams dominate 87-car international entry from six countries
Automóvil Club Peruano arrange challenging route across Perú
LIMA (Perú): Juha Kankkunen, a four-time FIA World Rally Champion and former winner of the Dakar Rally, will head a bumper 87-car international entry from six countries into the Caminos del Inca 2007 (Incas Rally). The gruelling 10-day event is being organised by the Automóvil Club Peruano (ACP) and starts in Lima on Friday, September 14th.
Kankkunen and Finnish co-driver Seppo Harjanne will drive a Team Cataneo-prepared Subaru Impreza WRX in Perú’s premier motorsport event, which is set to traverse some of the most spectacular terrain in South America, before reaching a finish in the capital Lima on Sunday, September 23rd.
Kankkunen won 23 WRC rallies in an illustrious career which saw him clinch no less than four world titles in 1986, 1987, 1991 and 1993, with the Peugeot Talbot Sport, Lancia Abarth and Toyota Team Europe factory teams. The 48-year-old Finn won his first two WRC rallies in Africa in 1985, by clinching victories in both the Safari and Ivory Coast events. In recent years he has tackled cross-country events with Volkswagen Motorsport in a Race Touareg.
The Finn starts as one of the favourites to win the 37th running of the Incas Rally, but faces fierce competition from a host of strong Peruvian teams. Lima’s Cesar Catano won the event last year and is likely to be one of Kankkunen’s closest challengers in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII, although Raul Orlandini (Mitsubishi) and Huancayo’s Alfredo Carhuallanqui (Mitsubishi) will be acclimatised to the high altitude of some of the special stages and should push the flying Finn all the way.
Orlandini’s father won the event five times (1992, 1993, 1994, 2003 and 2005) and his son will be aiming for a sixth Caminos del Inca title for the Orlandini family in memory of his late father who passed away last year.
Spaniard Carlos Martinez could well be one of the front-runners in a Subaru Impreza WRX. Other Impreza drivers include Lima’s Esteban Raraz and Ricardo Dasso. Drivers will also be present from the Dominican Republic, Equador and Great Britain.
Cumbria’s Simon Nutter and Humberside’s Howard Paterson will take part in their first Incas Rally at the wheel of a pair of Skoda Fabias, built by Prospeed. Paterson visited Peru back in 1995 during the London-Mexico Rally and has experience of racing at altitude, but both drivers and their co-driving wives, Fiona Udale and Ruth Paterson, will find the terrain a far cry from the special stages they are used to tackling in the FIA Middle East Rally Championship.
The event will be held on Peru’s national roads that link the cities of Lima, Huancavo, Ayacucho, Andahuaylas, Abancay, Cuzco, Arequipa, Ica and Lima. There will be five legs, 12 special stages and 14 liaison sections. Jaime Rey Movano will act as the race director.
In a total route of 2,722.90 km, the organisers anticipate that 2,289.50km will be competitive, with a mere 433.40km taking place on non-competitive liaison sections. Scrutineering will take place for foreign teams on Thursday, September 13th, with competitive getting underway on Friday.
The second section of the opening leg starts from Moyopampa on Sunday, September 16th, runs for 240.60km to Huancayo and includes a pair of tarmac special stages of around 125km and 102km in length. Leg two extends for 288.60km and takes teams from Huancayo to Ayacucho and includes a pair of 241km and 27.60km gravel special stages. Tuesday, September 18th has been planned as a service day in Ayacucho.
The third leg takes crews on a daunting 579.95km section from Ayacucho to Cuzco and includes a pair of 237km and 140km gravel special stages and a 167km tarmac section at Abancay. Teams will then enjoy a day’s service in the historic Inca capital city of Cuzco on Thursday, September 20th at high altitude. Foreign participants and media will be invited to visit the historical ruins of Machu Picchu –one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Leg four stretches for 455km and guides teams from Cuzco to Arequipa and includes a 274km gravel stage and an 82km tarmac test between Pampa Canahuas and the overnight halt. A day’s service is planned for Saturday, September 22nd in Arequipa, before crews wind their way back to a finish in Lima on Sunday, September 23rd. The event will rise from sea level to around 4,800 metres in places and is being held with the full support of the FIA and the Federatión Peruana de Automovilismo Deporttivo (FEPAD).
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