Dakar SS3 South Racing: Varela escapes in SxS

Varela - Gugelmin © DR

– Perú’s Uribe extends category lead in South Racing-built Maverick X3

– Argentina’s Larrauri drops further time in third South Racing Can-Am

The new South Racing Can-Am Team suffered a setback to their challenge for overall honours in the SxS category at the 2018 Dakar Rally on the third special stage through the remote deserts between Pisco and San Juan de Marcona, near Perú’s Pacific coastline, on Monday.


The Brazilian duo of Reinaldo Varela and Gustavo Gugelmin opened the road for the 10 teams that began the third stage. Varela was seventh through the opening kilometers after a misfire and reached the end of the first section in a virtual sixth position. The Brazilian was into a much better pace for the longer second section until he broke a rear suspension arm before the finish and the resultant delay gave him a stage time of 6hrs 35min 02sec and dropped him to fifth in the rankings in the first of two South Racing Can-Am Maverick X3s. Varela now trails his closest rival by 5min 56sec and will be aiming to close in on fourth place on the next stage.

Leonel Larrauri and Fernando Imperatrice began the day in seventh position in the second of the South Racing Can-A Maverick X3s. The Argentine bounced back strongly from two difficult days in his rebuilt Can-Am and was the fastest of all the SxS runners through the first timed section of the day. But he stopped with a gearbox issue shortly after the resumption of action and was forced to wait for the T4 assistance truck to arrive before emergency repairs could be carried out.

Juan Carlos Uribe and Javier Uribe Godoy started the day with an outright lead in the SxS category of 12min 08sec over Varela and Gugelmin. The Peruvuian was second quickest through the first section of the special and went on to claim his first stage win and extended his outright category lead to a massive 45min 45sec in a Can-Am chassis built by South Racing with support from Can-Am Perú, Alsol, Friopacking and Chiawel Agro.

Today and tomorrow
The third day of the Dakar headed south from Pisco to the town of San Juan de Marcona. The special stage of 296km was split into two sections and started near Pisco and wound its way across dunes and through a canyon to finish close to the town of Ica, which was shattered over 10 years ago by a massive earthquake. A liaison of 208km skirted the mythological town of Nasca to steer teams into San Juan de Marcona.

The fourth 330km stage of this year’s Dakar loops through the deserts to the east and south of San Juan de Marcona. Competitive action starts 114km from the coastal town on the beach to the south and heads deep inland before finishing close to the bivouac. Cars will start four abreast before tackling in excess of 100km of sand dunes and a tricky canyon near the finish.

What they said:
Scott Abraham, Managing Director, South Racing Can-Am Team : « It has been a difficult day today. Reinaldo had a small misfire this morning that we managed to fix at the neutralisation and was clocking top three times for the rest of the stage until 50km from the end. He damaged a rear suspension arm and managed to make a ‘Dakar fix’ and made it to the finish. »

Unfortunately, around 130km into the stage, Leo (Larrauri) damaged the gearbox and he is with the T4 (support service truck). We are confident that we can keep him in the race and he will restart with time penalties tomorrow.”

2018 Dakar Rally – SS3 result (SxS category)
1. Juan-Carlos Uribe (PER)/Javier Uribe Godoy (PER) Can-Am, 4hrs 30min 36sec
2. Patrice Garrouste (FRA)/Steven Griener (FRA) Polaris RZR 1000 Turbo, 4hrs 47min 49sec
3. Claude Fournier (FRA)/Szymon Gospodarczyk (POL) Polaris RZR 1000 XP, 5hrs 12min 48sec
4. Anibal Aliaga (PER)/Juan Pedro Cilloniz (PER) Polaris RZR 1000 XP, 5hrs 56min 59sec
5. Reinaldo Varela (BRA)/Gustavo Gugelmin (BRA) South Racing Can-Am, 6hrs 35min 02sec   

2018 Dakar Rally – overall after SS3 (SxS categorie)
1. Juan-Carlos Uribe (PER)/Javier Uribe Godoy (PER) Can-Am, 9hrs 48min 21sec
2. Patrice Garrouste (FRA)/Steven Griener (FRA) Polaris RZR 1000 Turbo, 10hrs 34min 06sec
3. Anibal Aliaga (PER)/Juan Pedro Cilloniz (PER) Polaris RZR 1000 XP, 11hrs 39min 49sec
4. Claude Fournier (FRA)/Szymon Gospodarczyk (POL) Polaris RZR 1000 XP, 11hrs 58min 59sec
5. Reinaldo Varela (BRA)/Gustavo Gugelmin (BRA) South Racing Can-Am, 12hrs 04min 55sec

Neil Perkins,