YPF Desafío Ruta 40 2018 Dakar Series completed its third day with a stage that suffered some changes due to safety reasons, which gave competitors the chance to have some rest after two exhausting stages.

Fiambalá dunes left Paulo Goncalves (Honda CRF450) as the winner of the day and the new leader among Bikes; Nicolás Cavigliasso (Yamaha Raptor) and Julio Estanguet (Can Am Renegade) continue leading in Quads 4×2 and 4×4 respectively; while in Cars, Sebastián Halpern (Toyota Hilux) is ahead in T1 Gas, and Juan Manuel “Pato” Silva among T3. At the time this article is released, there are no arrivals at the end of the stage for T1 Diesel vehicles. Tomorrow, the race will get to Villa Unión in the Province of La Rioja. 

YPF Desafío Ruta 40 2018 does not stop. This Wednesday, the caravan of the hardest race in Argentina completed Stage 3 starting and finishing in Tinogasta. The third day of the race which is valid for FIM Cross Country Rally World Championship and which also has the Dakar Series stamp, was fully run in the mythical Fiambalá desert.

The stage had some modifications which allowed competitors to take a short break after a really demanding start: firstly, the start was a bit delayed since we had to wait until the medical helicopter arrived- it had finished work very late on Tuesday and was only able to fly early this morning. This delay led to a shortening of the stage at CP4 (210.89 km of stage, instead of the original length of 258.78km). However, due to safety reasons, the race had to finish at CP3 (km141.04) for bikes and quads, while cars continued up to km210.

Bikes: Speedy is back on the lead

Paulo Goncalves (Honda CRF450) was the fastest in the stage, and now Monster Energy Honda Team rider has regained the first place in the Overall. The Portuguese completed the stage with a time of 2h04m38s. He was followed by Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna 450) 2m54s behind and Ricky Brabec (Honda CRF 450) 5m10s later.

“It was a very good stage for me. I enjoyed it. Today I started in the fourth place on the road and the idea was to try to get closer to the lead. I tried to push and I did well, fortunately I was able to chase my rivals before the stage was cut. I’m happy because the bike worked well and there are still two days to go. Tomorrow, I’ll be opening the road and I’ll try to lose the least possible to get to the final stage with better chances”. The stage winner said.

In the Overall, Honda rider has a total time of 10h37m17s, and is followed by Husqvarna Chilean rider (1m13s behind). Toby Price (KTM 450 Rally), who was leading until this morning, went back to the third place 5m38s behind the bikes leader.

Group N: Among the Bikes in the classification for Group N riders, Joaquín Debeljuh (Beta RR) continues leading the Overall.

 4×2 Quads: Maksimov in the stage, Cavigliasso opens the gap in the Overall

Among two-wheel drive quads, the stage victory was for the Russian rider who is racing at YPF Desafío Ruta 40 for the first time, Alexander Maksimov (Yamaha Raptor), with 2h41m21s. Nicolás Cavigliasso (Yamaha Raptor) was only 0m14s behind, while Enzo Silva (Yamaha Raptor) was third, 1m58s behind.

“This stage was lighter than the previous two, so we enjoyed it. The race is proving very tough, but we are still here and we hope to get to San Juan”, Maksimov said.

One of the surprises today was Jeremías Gonzalez Ferioli – who started the stage in the second place in the overall. He had to retire after his engine broke at km 117. Thus, Cavigliasso stays in the lead, with a total net time of 13h26m27s and the rider from Mendoza E. Silva, is the new runner up 28m20s behind. The Russian rider, and winner of the day, is now on the last step of the podium, 1h02m17s behind the leader.


4×4 Quads: Estanguet opens the gap on the lead

Among 4WD quads, there were changes, too. One of the candidates, Daniel Mazzucco had to retire – he did not start the stage- due to kidney problems which had been affecting him since yesterday.

Julio Estanguet (Can Am Renegade), won the stage with a time of 3h07m33 and continues at the top in the Overall. The second place in the stage was for Colombian rider Nicolás Robledo (Can Am Renegade), who, despite some mechanical problems, was able to complete the stage and goes up one place in the Overall, leaving Martin Sarquiz in the third place.


Cars: Halpern and Silva set the pace


Sebastián Halpern (Toyota Hilux) showed his expertise on the dunes in Fiambalá and won the third stage of YPF Desafío Ruta 40 2018. The driver from Mendoza completed the 210km of full speed in 3h52m56s. Peter Jerie, arrived in the second place, 1h40m40 behind the leader, and the third place was for Sebastian Guayasamin on his Chevrolet S10.

“It was a marvelous stage. I enjoyed Fiambalá more than ever. We had fun. The dunes were a little soft but anyway we were able to get a good pace, we never stuck. Edu (Pulenta) was perfect in navigation since after km 141, we had to open the road but anyway we were fast”, the driver from Mendoza said. He is now leading more comfortably in T1 Gas category with a 2h32m24s gap over his teammate Peter Jerie (Toyota Hilux).


Juan Manuel Silva (Can Am X3) was the benchmark in T3 category and got the second best time in cars.  The runner up in this class was Pedro Usanfizaga, again showing good pace on his Polaris and the third place was for his teammate Nicolás Zingoni (Polaris RZR)

“It was a good day today. In fact, I didn’t have any problems. There were some section on the dunes in which we were driving on the wind and the UTV was overheating.  I had to stop and wait until it cooled down a bit. That cause some delay. I understand these stages are quite good to get ready for Dakar.”

T1 Diesel:

By the time this article was released, there were no arrivals in this category. As far as yesterday, the driver from Paraguay, Andrea Lafarja, was leading.


Stage 4 Tinogasta-Villa Unión

On Thursday, the tenth edition of Desafío Ruta 40 will head towards La Rioja. Stage 4 will join Tinogasta and Villa Unión (357,55km in stage). The race will go up reaching 4000 masl. Competitors will have to go across very rocky sections among amazing mountain landscapes.