South Racing faces another hectic and exciting weekend of international off-road rallying when the team operating out of Germany and Portugal enters five Can-Am Maverick X3s in the increasingly popular SSV category in this weekend’s fully-subcribed Baja Portalegre 500 in Portugal.
The traditional final round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies is based in the municipality of Portalegre and takes place from Thursday to Saturday (October 25-27).
South Racing will run four National specification Can-Ams and one in Dakar specification for Portugal’s Miguel Jordão on his home event after previous appearances this season in the Desafio Inca in Peru and the recent Rally of Morocco.
The Portuguese pairing of Alexander Ré and Sandro Melo crew a second South Racing Can-Am in the SSV category, while the Portuguese pairing of Gualter Barros and Pedro Ré wheel out a third Can-Am on the driver’s debut with the team. There is a fourth South Racing entry for the Italian female driver Cristina Giampaoli, who tackled Baja Spain in the summer under the Dynamic Racing banner.
Dirk von Zitzewitz has switched from reading maps and route instructions to drive on his own in a South Racing Can-Am in Portugal. The former professional co-driver began his motorsporting career at the tender age of 14 and specialised in enduro racing, the German finishing fifth on a KTM at the Dakar in 1997.
Since switching to car navigation, he has partnered the likes of American racers Mark Miller and Robbie Gordon and Giniel de Villiers, the German winning stages with the esteemed South African in 2007 and claiming a famous outright Dakar Rally win in 2009.
The timetable for the 32nd edition of the event for the teams gets underway with the ceremonial start in the Jardim do Torro in Portalegre on Thursday evening from 19.00hrs.
The top 10 starting order for the longer off-road sections will then be determined by the outcome of a 3.56km super special stage at Coutades on Friday morning from 10.30hrs. The first of the longer selective sections runs for 98km and gets underway at 15.30hrs on Friday afternoon.
A third 160km section starts out of Ponte de Sor from 07.45hrs on Saturday morning and the fourth and final timed stage of 195km gets underway at 14.00hrs. The podium is scheduled for 17.30hrs.