CDI Ernesto Jochamovitz takes dramatic win in Caminos del Inca

Caminos del Inca 2007 (Inca’s Rally 2007)
For immediate release
Sunday, September 23rd, 2007




Fuel pump problems cost Dasso victory; Palomino secures third

Finland’s Juha Kankkunen leaps from seventh to fourth overall

Britain’s Howard and Ruth Paterson steer their Skoda to the finish


LIMA (Perú): Ernesto Jochamowitz and Gustavo Medina snatched a dramatic victory in the 37th Caminos del Inca 2007 (Inca’s Rally) after long-time leaders Ricardo Dasso and Michael Baca suffered fuel pump problems on the second stage of the final leg between Arequipa and Lima on Sunday.


The Mitsubishi Outlander driver secured his third Caminos del Inca title on the final special stage after taking the overall lead for the first time on the tarmac stage between Nasca and Ica. The Peruvian also won the event at the wheel of a Ford Escort in 1998 and 1999.


“I could not believe it when I saw that Ricardo had problems,” said winner Jochamovitz. “We are good friends, but I was pushing hard to win. The rally was more difficult than in the past. The competition was tougher. There were several people who could have won. I think the event has a great future. I spoke to Juha (Kankkunen) about the event. He suggested we take out some of the straights in the next races and place a little more emphasis on security and we will have a superb event.”


Ronmel Palomino hung on grimly to third position in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, as a flying Juha Kankkunen leapt up the leaderboard on the final day from seventh to fourth place in his Team Cataneo-prepared Subaru Impreza WRX.


Luis Alayza de Losada finished fifth overall in his Subaru Forester and Raul Orlandini, the son of the late five-time winner Raul Snr., was sixth. Ricardo Palomino finished seventh, but the father and son crew of Fernando and Fernando Ferrand retired on the final stage on the driver’s 12th Caminos del Inca and his son’s 13th outing.


“It was a good way to end the event with three fastest times,” said Kankkunen. “But the damage was done several days ago. We climbed back as high as we could. It was a very varied event. The stages were so different in character. It was an enjoyable challenge, but I did not have the right car to win.”


Dasso, winner of the event back in 1986 in a Toyota, began the day 1m 02s ahead of Jochamovitz, as a fascinating finale lay in wait over the high-speed tarmac special stages between Arequipa and Lima. The first 547.50km special descended from the High Andean plateau along a fast tarmac road that was shrouded in fog in places. Teams quickly dropped from 2,550 metres to sea level, as the special reached the Pacific Coast at Camana.


The remainder of the stage was made up of a twisty climb through coastal mountains and fishing villages and a high speed blast across the Nasca desert towards the finish in the city famed for its ancient and mysterious lines and patterns carved in the desert.


Sandstorms and shifting dunes had been prevalent in the area the previous day – a far cry from the high altitude stages earlier in the week – but they failed to stop Kankkunen taking a scintillating fastest time of 3h 01m 21s, as he launched himself from seventh into fourth overall in one foul swoop. Dasso set the third fastest time, but he crucially edged a further 1m 17s ahead of Jochamovitz heading into the final two short stages.


The first was a high-speed tarmac sprint between Nasca and Ica, taking in the historic town of Pulpa, and Kankkunen was again fastest in a time of 35m 54s for 133.10km! Young Orlandini was a mere nine seconds behind the Finn, but Dasso wrecked his chance of victory when he dropped 13 minutes to Jochamovitz because of serious fuel pump problems.


The scene was set for a gripping finale on the final 109km sprint along the Pan Americana Highway from Cerro Azul to a toll station south of Lima. Jochamovitz had one hand on the Caminos del Inca title, while Kankkunen still held an outside chance of wresting the final podium place from Ronmel Palomino’s clutches. The Finn was again fastest on the stage, but could not catch Palomino, while Jochamovitz noticeably eased his pace to secure an historic win.


Before the stage, competitors embarked upon a sombre liaison section along the coast, taking in the towns of Pisco and Paracas, both still suffering from the sheer devastation caused by the massive earthquake that shattered the region on August 15th. The road was destroyed in places, while villages and towns were undergoing the slow and painful rebuilding process as surviving villagers lived in temporary accommodation.


Britain’s Howard and Ruth Paterson began the final day in 24th overall, although the priority was to steer the underpowered Skoda to the finish on the high-speed tarmac stages. They achieved their goal to become the first British team to reach the end of the Caminos del Inca since Tony Fall won the event with Sweden’s Gunnar Palm in 1969. Ruth was also the first British woman ever to finish the main event.


“We had a little altitude sickness at 4,800 metres on the first day and then had to change a shock absorber at around 4,200 metres,” said elated British rally school owner Paterson. “But we managed to finish. It was a fantastic adventure, far more difficult than the Safari or London-Mexico. Definitely the most demanding stages I have ever seen and experienced. With the drops, it was definitely not for the faint-hearted!”


Against all the odds, team mates Simon Nutter and Sean Kukula had repaired their Skoda Fabia in Lima and driven 998km to reach the start of the final leg in Arequipa, just to be able to complete a full leg of the Automóvil Club Peruano-organised event after head gasket problems last Sunday.


Caminos del Inca 2007 – positions on Arequipa to Nasca stage (547.50km – SS10):

1. Juha Kankkunen (FIN)/Seppo Harjanne (FIN) Subaru Impreza WRX                   3h 01m 21s

2. Carlos Ibarcena (PE)/Pedro Nunez (PE) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII            3h 09m 09s

3. Ricardo Dasso (PE)/Michael Baca (PE) Subaru Impreza WRX STi                  3h 09m 41s

4. Ernesto Jochamowitz (PE)/Gustavo Medina (PE) Mitsubishi Outlander                 3h 10m 58s

5. Fernando Ferrand (PE)/Fernando Ferrand (PE) Nissan Pick-Up                           3h 26m 41s

6. Ronmel Palomino (PE)/Wilman Palomino (PE) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII  3h 29m 28s, etc


Caminos del Inca 2007 – positions on Nasca to Ica stage (133.10km – SS11):

1 Juha Kankkunen (FIN)/Seppo Harjanne (FIN) Subaru Impreza WRX                        35m 54s

2. Raul Orlandini (PE)/Diego Zuloaga (PE) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution                    36m 03s

3. Ernesto Jochamowitz (PE)/Gustavo Medina (PE) Mitsubishi Outlander                   36m 18s

4. Carlos Ibarcena (PE)/Pedro Nunez (PE) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII               37m 11s

5. Luis Alayza de Losada (PE)/Ive Bromberg (PE) Subaru Forester WRX               38m 03s

6. Ricardo Palomino (PE)/Eduardo Arimbongo (PE) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 38m 13s, etc


Caminos del Inca 2007 – positions on Cerro Azul to Peaje Villa stage (109.00km – SS12):

1. Juha Kankkunen (FIN)/Seppo Harjanne (FIN) Subaru Impreza WRX                       26m 18s

2. Ricardo Dasso (PE)/Michael Baca (PE) Subaru Impreza WRX                                 26m 30s

3. Ernesto Jochamowitz (PE)/Gustavo Medina (PE) Mitsubishi Outlander                   28m 50s

4. Luis Alayza de Losada (PE)/Ive Bromberg (PE) Subaru Forester WRX               29m 15s, etc


Caminos del Inca 2007 – final positions after leg five (unofficial @ 16.00hrs)

1. Ernesto Jochamowitz (PE)/Gustavo Medina (PE) Mitsubishi Outlander             19h 10m 49s

2. Ricardo Dasso (PE)/Michael Baca (PE) Subaru Impreza WRX                           19h 20m 32s

3. Ronmel Palomino (PE)/Wilman Palomino (PE) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII  20h 07m 42s

4. Juha Kankkunen (FIN)/Seppo Harjanne (FIN) Subaru Impreza WRX              20h 16m 26s

5. Luis Alayza de Losada (PE)/Ive Bromberg (PE) Subaru Forester WRX          20h 27m 29s

6. Raul Orlandini (PE)/Diego Zuloaga (PE) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution                20h 34m 12s

7. Ricardo Palomino (PE)/Eduardo Arimbongo (PE) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 20h 46m 25s

8. Gino Valerga (PE)/Pedro Romero (PE) Mazda 3                  21h 14m 20s

9. Aberlardo Caparo (PE)/Renzo Gutierrez (PE) Honda Civic VTEC                22h 22m 06s





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Date issued: 23/09/2007

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