South Racing Can-Am Team’s Reinaldo Varela and Gustavo Gugelmin set out to defend their SxS category lead of 48:12 minutes from 4th position on the road on the 11th timed special stage of 280km between Belén and Chilecito in Argentina.
They soon fell behind nearest challenger Patrice Garrouste and reached PC2, 15:36 mins behind the Frenchman. But the determined Brazilians staged a fight back and reached the end of the first part of the stage 4:23 mins in front of their rival, before going on to complete the stage in 2nd place to maintain an outright lead of 44:33 minutes to take into the remaining three stages.
Juan Carlos Uribe and Javier Uribe Godoy had slipped behind Garrouste and into 3rd the previous evening in their Can-Am. The Peruvians reached PC2 in a virtual 3rd and went on to finish the opening section of the day’s special in 5th. They eventually crossed the finish line in 6th position and retain 3rd overall.
Leonel Larrauri and Fernando Imperatrice suffered massive delays with broken suspension and a damaged Can-Am on SS10, but sterling work by the T4 support crew enabled the second of the South Racing Maverick X3s to reach Belén with the loss of over 12 hours. More importantly, they were given a start position of sixth on the road amongst the nine surviving SxS runners. The Argentines held a virtual third at PC1 and moved up to second, behind Garrouste, at PC2. They reached the end of the stage 3rd and remain in an unofficial 8th overall.
"It was another good day," said Team Manager Scott Abraham. "Reinaldo had a battle all day with Patrice. We lost a little bit of time, but we still has a good lead. It was a very strong stage from Leo."
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