• 29ª Baja Portalegre 500

    22 a 24 de Outubro de 2015
  • Baja TT Idanha-a-Nova

    11 e 12 de Setembro de 2015
  • Baja TT Proença / Mação / Oleiros

    20 e 21 de Junho de 2015
  • Baja Cidade Europeia do Desporto

    30 e 21 de Maio de 2015
  • Rali TT Vinhos Carmim

    1 e 2 de Maio de 2015
  • Baja TT Rota do Douro

    27 e 28 de Março

sexta-feira, 18 de agosto de 2017

Kevin Benavides wins the fourth special to become overall Atacama Rally leader

Monster Energy Honda Team set out to keep all options open and succeeded in the longest stage of the Atacama Rally. Kevin Benavides took the stage victory and overall leadership while Paulo Gonçalves will go into the final stage well-positioned to fight for a spot on the rostrum.

 Monster Energy Honda Team’s Argentinean rider Kevin Benavides took top honours for the second time in the 2017 Atacama Rally. The fastest stage was, once again, a white knuckle, hazard-filled ride at full gas. Kevin was head and shoulders above the rest of the field, storming to the top of the leader board in the overall rankings with just a day’s racing left.

 Team-mate Paulo Gonçalves set out from the camp in Mejillones this morning in second starting position. The Portuguese rider held a storming pace over the 375 kilometre trek to Iquique although he dropped precious time validating a waypoint in the latter stretches of the race. Paulo lies in fourth place overall.

 Kevin and Paulo will both be looking for podium finishes when the race wraps up tomorrow. The end results will be battled out in the final stage held entirely in the dunes of Copiapó.

 A review of the times last night moved Kevin Benavides to third place in the day’s standings instead of the fourth place initially awarded.

361 kilometres of coastal road separate Mejillones from Iquique, parallel to the Pacific Ocean, with the assistance vehicles taking Route 5 further inland.

The fourth stage was the longest in the entire Atacama Rally 2017, with a total of 547.33 kilometres, of which 375 kilometres were against the clock in a very fast stage with long swathes of stony tracks and a final part in the sand dunes of Iquique.

The start was again delayed for 1h05′ due to the appearance of the camanchaca mist which prevented the safety helicopter taking off.

The final stretches of this fourth stage took place on the famous descent of the Iquique dunes, Los Verdes, which similarly had hosted a stage in the 2015 Dakar.

The fifth and final stage will be held tomorrow in Iquique. The special stage will be a last chance for the favourites to confirm their positions and a final opportunity for the outsiders to improve their positions.


· Alvarez and Monasterolo set to debut new South Racing Volkswagen Amarok

 South Racing, the German-based cross-country rally car preparations company, is in the midst of a hectic August rallying programme in South America and is counting down the hours to running two cars in Rally dos Sertões, Brazil’s premier cross-country rally. The event starts in the central-western town of Goiânia on August 20th and finishes at Bonito in southern Brazil on August 26th.

 The team will run a Divino Fogäo Rally Team Ford Ranger for the Brazilian crew of Reinaldo Varela and Gustavo Gugelmin and a brand new Conarpesa-backed Volkswagen Amarok for Spaniard Fernando Alvarez and his Argentinean navigator Juan-Pablo Monasterolo.

 Varela, winner of the event in 2015, won the Prologue stage in Goiânia and four of the seven timed special stages to reach the finish in Foz do Iguaçu (Igauçu Falls) 14min 22sec ahead of Marcos Baumgart. Poor quality fuel cost him a chance to repeat that success in 2016.

  “August has started off with a bang for the team with back-to-back races all the way through until September,” said South Racing’s managing director Scott Abraham. “We had a great result in Hungary last weekend with eighth place for our Czech driver Czech driver Tomáš Ouřednīček and we are also in the process of looking after Rodrigo Gutiérrez in the Atacama Rally this week.

  “But we must also focus on the Rally dos Sertões with Reinaldo Varela and Gustavo (Gugelmin) in the Ford Ranger. For sure, we are looking for revenge for last year, where we lost the race because of bad fuel. The team is well prepared and we are looking for a top result. Fernando and Juan Pablo also debut their new car. It should have been ready for Baja Spain, but everyone is looking forward to the first appearance now in Brazil. It is a new generation vehicle. They are exciting times.”

 The team carried out a shakedown test today (Thursday) before crews attend their mandatory scrutineering and administration checks at the Goiânia International Circuit later today and Friday (August 18th).

 The ceremonial start and Prologue stage will then take place in Goiânia, the largest city in the state of Goiás, on Saturday and these precede seven demanding selective sections across some of the wildest and most difficult terrain in Brazil.

 The opening section leaves Goiânia and guides teams to an overnight halt in Goianésia on August 20th before crews move on to Santa Terezinha de Goiás on August 21st. From there the route heads on to Aruanã on August 23rd and then in the direction of Barra do Garça the next day.

 Day five leaves Barra do Garça en route for Coxim and the final two stages take in a night halt in Aquidauna on August 25th before the final section into the finish in Bonito, an ecotourism hub in the Mato Grosso do Sul state, on August 26th.

quinta-feira, 17 de agosto de 2017

Paulo Gonçalves, second, refuses to throw the towel in during a treacherous special stage

The halfway point of the Atacama Rally saw Monster Energy Honda Team’s Portuguese rider narrowly miss out on victory in a long, arduous and danger-filled special. Kevin Benavides, with the disadvantage of having to open the track, finished fourth.

 The participants of the Atacama Rally now find themselves in the heart of the world’s most arid desert. The third stage of the rally – from Tal Tal to Mejillones – produced fine performances from the two Monster Energy Honda Team riders, who vie for positions that could eventually lead to top overall results.

 If yesterday it was Kevin Benavides who won the stage, today Paulo Gonçalves took the turn to carry the torch, although it wasn’t a stage for taking excessive risks given the sheer speed of the track and the fact that some hazards were not too clearly marked in the roadbook. At the end of the day, the Portuguese rider astride the Honda CRF450 RALLY settled for runner-up spot some 3’30” adrift of the winner.

 Paulo’s team-mate, Argentinean Kevin Benavides, opened the way throughout most of the special, with the added difficulty of having to read the roadbook at breakneck speed without references on the track. Kevin finished third and tomorrow will be hoping to claw back any time dropped today.

 Tal Tal and Mejillones, two coastal towns on the Chilean Pacific hosted the third stage of the rally at a distance of 300 kilometres.

A total of 487 kilometres (308 kilometres) of timed special stage were disputed on Wednesday.

 This third stage featured some sections that were used when the Dakar visited Chile in 2015. The riders had to overcome numerous hazards and very fast, rain-damaged track after the previous week’s downpours.

Tomorrow the Atacama Rally sees the longest stage of the race: 547 kilometres from Mejillones to Iquique, with 375km of special against the clock.

Monster Energy Honda Team look to retain the Vegas to Reno title

The duo of Monster Energy Honda Team riders Joan Barreda and Ricky Brabec this Friday begin their participation in the Vegas to Reno, where Barreda took overall victory last year on the twentieth anniversary of the legendary American desert race.

 While one half of the team is in Chile for the Atacama Rally, this Friday, August 18th, the Monster Energy Honda Team will also be present in the United States with the other half aiming to hold on to the title picked up in the U.S. last year. Joan Barreda alongside Ricky Brabec – aboard the Honda CRF450 RALLY emblazoned with the number N6 – team up again to tackle the 540 miles (864 kilometres) of Nevada desert.

 The Vegas to Reno is part of the Monster Energy Honda Team programme to train the riders and help acquire speed and pace. Joan Barreda arrives fresh off the back of a win in Spain’s Baja Aragon, while Ricky Brabec has bounced back after several weeks out of competition after sustaining an injury at the AMA Hare & Hound American race.

 The team will be supported by Johnny Campbell for this the 21st edition of the Vegas to Reno.

quarta-feira, 16 de agosto de 2017


The Gulf Challenge, which was announced back in May and was scheduled to start in September 2017, has been postponed until 2018.

 The decision was announced by Abdullah Bakhashab, the former FIA Middle East rally champion and promoter of the Gulf Challenge, after consultation with the respective automobile federations and motor sport clubs in the Arabian Gulf region.

 Bakhashab cited unfavourable economic conditions, which had prompted many companies interested in supporting the Challenge to change their stances in recent weeks and this had negatively affected the preparations for the exciting new rally series. 

Bakhashab said: “I regret to announce the postponement of the Gulf Challenge, which was scheduled to start next month, to the 2018-2019 season. There is a positive side to this decision in that it gives us more time to organise, promote and prepare in the way that we want to and it will also help those eager to participate to better prepare themselves, so that we can attract as many competitors as possible next season.”

 The Gulf Challenge is the brainchild of His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the former multiple FIA Middle East Rally Champion and President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the United Arab Emirates. Ben Sulayem attracted unrivalled support from the relevant automobile federations in the Arabian Gulf states to establish a new 4x4 rallying series.

 The Gulf Challenge will be decided over rounds in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain. Kuwait and Oman.

terça-feira, 15 de agosto de 2017

Atacama Rally: Kevin Benavides wins stage two

The Atacama Rally heads north in Chile with a lightning-paced Kevin Benavides taking the triumph in the second stage. Paulo posted sixth spot.

 The Atacama Rally left Copiapó bound for the north in a second stage affected by an accident involving French rider Pela Renet who had to be airlifted to safety by helicopter. For safety reasons the special stage was shortened to the neutralization zone, where the fastest competitor at that point had been Monster Energy Honda Team rider Kevin Benavides. The Argentinean rider thus reduces the gap with overall leader Quintanilla to just seven seconds.

 Paulo Gonçalves, who set off sixth after receiving a somewhat dubious penalization, also finished the day in sixth place as well as occupying the same place in the general standings.

 This second stage of the Atacama Rally linked the towns of Copiapó and Tal Tal, more than three hundred kilometres away in the north of Chile on the Pacific coast.

There were 308 kilometres of special timed stage in which the pilots encountered a variety of terrain types, predominantly fast track, but with some dunes earlier in the day.

The start was delayed an hour and a half by the appearance of the camanchaca, the early morning mist typical in these regions.

Due to the accident of Pela Renet, only the first part of the special was completed, until the neutralization section at kilometre 164.

Tomorrow the Atacama Rally will pass its half-way point: the third stage will take the riders from Tal Tal to another coastal area: Mejillones. It will feature some 349 kilometres of timed special before arriving at the check point in La Negra.

Top 10 finish for Ourednicek and Kripal in Hungarian Baja

The crew of South Racing Central Europe, Tomas Ourednicek and David Kripal finished Hungarian Baja, eighth round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies in an excellent 8th position with the Ford Ranger Dakar. For co-driver David Kripal the weekend in Veszprem marked a milestone: he scored his first World Cup points in his first ever participation in the series. Beside the World Cup, Hungarian Baja was also the fourth round of Hungarian Championship, in this classification Tomas and David finished 4th.

 For South Racing Cetral Europe, this year’s Hungarian Baja was mostly about David Kripal’s return to the co-driver’s seat after his accident. Although David was cleared by his doctors for racing, his foot is still far from being 100 percent, so the crew decided to start with a cautious approach. They finished Friday’s 11 km Superspecial in 13th position due to an issue with windscreen wiper, but right after the first of the two 136 km specials on Saturday they climbed up to 7th position, which they managed to keep during the second part of the day despite some minor technical issues. On Sunday, Tomas and David finished 8th in both 103 km long specials, and achieved the same position in the overall classification as well.

„Friday’s short Superspecial started with a bad feeling because our problems with vision didn’t promise too much good for the rest of the weekend. During the night there was a big storm, so on Saturday morning we started on mud tires. It proved to be a good decision, we clocked the 7th time, despite taking a cautious approach. But we didn’t change the tires for the second part and this was a mistake because by then the track was completely dry. We had a small issue with engine but our mechanics were able to fix it. The service at the end of the day was a real nightmare: I was afraid that we had a problem with the clutch so we decided to change it, and the work was finished literally in the last moment. Our mechanics did an excellent job throughout the weekend, so I owe a big thank you to them. 

 On Sunday we started at a faster pace to see if we can improve our result, but for that a mistake from the frontrunners would have been required. Finally we finished 8th, and I am especially happy for David, because he finished in the points in his first ever World Cup round. For him this weekend was not easy at all because of his leg, but this made my job more difficult as well because I had more to take care of than usual and also I had to drive very carefully to avoid punctures because changing a tire alone could have been very costly in terms of time. There were a lot of jumps on the track alternating with high speed sections, the Ranger spent more time in the air than on the ground. 

Altogether, I am satisfied with the car, on Sunday we had no problem at all, and the setup was also great, and this was my best result so far in the World Cup, so I am very happy”, Tomas Ourednicek summarised the weekend.

  “This was my first participation in the World Cup andit was a great experience. Before the race we had some concerns about my injured foot, but Friday’s shakedown showed that I was ready for racing. The rally had a perfect atmosphere, the competition was really strong, and many spectators came to see us, so we enjoyed the weekend a lot. Tomas drove perfectly and despite the minor technical problems we managed to score a nice 8th place, with which I am very happy”, co-driver David Kripal added.

 South Racing CE is supported by Liqui Moly, Mann Filter, Ford Hlouch Motors, AV Media, XT line, Agados, Fri Tech, CARREX, DUCATI Frankfurt and Gold Nutrition.

segunda-feira, 14 de agosto de 2017

Atacama Rally 2017, Stage 1

Kevin Benavides and Paulo Gonçalves posted second and third place on the looping circuit starting and finishing in Copiapó, as the first full stage of the 2017 Atacama Rally wraps up.

 Kevin Benavides pulled off an excellent first stage fight-back after starting out in tenth position this morning, before battling his way through the field. Team-mate Paulo Gonçalves was likewise displaying solid riding skills and deft navigation to finish 25” off his Monster Energy Honda Team partner.

 The 226.18 kilometre timed special stage started out in the outskirts of Copiapó before looping its way around to finish where it began. The day served up 80% sand including some dunes as well as some 85 kilometres of fast track.

Tomorrow’s second stage from Copiapó to Cifuncho will include 25 kilometres of liaison section, 308 kilometres of special stage and a final 50 kilometre liaison section before arriving at the bivouac situated in Tal Tal.