South Racing Can-Am Team’s Reinaldo Varela and left the demanding sand dunes of Peru beyond him on a positive note by recording the quickest time in SS05 between San Juan de Marcona and Arequipa and that enabled him to snatch the outright lead in the SxS category. The Brazilians now hold a slender lead of 3:08 minutes after stopping the clocks in 03:42:42 on the last of the stages through the daunting Peruvian dunes. That time would have beaten all but 13 of the vehicles running in the flagship car category.
Juan Carlos Uribe and Javier Uribe Godoy were back into a good pace after their delays on the loop stage around San Juan de Marcona and the Peruvians were the quickest of all the SxS through the short opening 53km of the stage in their Maverick X3.
Uribe took a virtual stage advantage of 3:48 minutes into the longer second section but, with overnight leader Patrice Garrouste stopping for over two hours with his own problems in the sand, the Peruvian headed towards Arequipa in second position in the SxS category. He finished the day’s stage in 2nd position and now trails Varela by 3:08 mins.
The Argentine duo of Leonel Larrauri and Fernando Imperatrice enjoyed a better run through SS04 around San Juan de Marcona and made good progress through the last of the Peruvian specials. They reached the finish without major problems, but a fault with the tracking and monitoring system arranged by race officials meant that their stage time was not available.
"It was a great stage today for the Maverick X3," said Managing Director Scott Abraham. "The first section was ideally suited to the lightweight and high performance of the vehicle and Reinaldo and Gustavo did a faultless job today. If you added them into the overall classification for the cars, they would have finished 14th, so it shows the potential of these vehicles. Now we will work on the cars after the long road section to Arequipa, so that they are ready for Bolivia and the second week of the Dakar."
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