Desafio Ruta 40 YPF, the fourth and penultimate stop of the World Rally Raid Championship (W2RC) hit the road on Monday with a demanding first stage: La Rioja – La Rioja a loop of 333 km of timed sections and 361 km of liaison. The terrain featured mainly grave for 85% with 15% of sand.
It was a good start for the Xtremeplus team with start #401 Italian Enrico Gaspari and Argentinian Ricardo Torlaschi – ABC TOOLS Polaris Xtremeplus finishing third, followed by #400 Japanese Shinsuke Umeda and Maurizio Dominella – CST Polaris Xtremeplus in P4.
« The race started with a demanding and long first stage La Rioja – La Rioja: 333 km of timed section and 361 km of liaison. The stage was fast and we had a very good pace. It was a pity as we suffered an issue on track and we lost 7 minutes and then a problem with the timekeeping at the neutralisation that costed us 15 minutes. We made an appeal and hopefully we get these minutes back as we were doing a great race. Despite all, we were able to finish third in the T4 category », said Italian Enrico Gaspari – ABC TOOL Polaris Xtremeplus that is teaming up with Argentinian Ricardo Torlaschi that knows well the region. « Anyway we are very motivated and we take the start of the second stage even more determined to do well », concluded the Italian.
« It was a nice start. We enjoyed the stage and the landscape was amazing. It is so nice to see so many fans. Their passion for motorsports and rally-raid in particular, is overwhelming. We had a smooth race, our Polaris worked very well. I’m happy as I also got a medal for the 2R World Rally Raid Championship », said Shinshuke Umeda- – CST Polaris Xtremeplus. « The region of La Rioja is amazing and it’s a nice feeling to return racing where we used to compete with the Dakar Rally. It was the typical WRC stage », added the co-driver Maurizio Dominella.
With the first and longest day of the rally over, today the 110 competitors leave the province of La Rioja direction Belén. On the menu there is 197 km of liaison and 265 km of Special Stage. This second stage features gravel tracks in the first part and then a mix of more demanding terrains: chott, fesh-fesh, dunes and sand.