Dos Sertões: great catch-up in Brazil
• Spinelli and De Barros finish fifth and seventh
• Argentina’s Desfaío Ruta 40 kicked off
Would you ignore the first two special stages of the Rally dos Sertões, the event in Brazil would have been extremely successful. The two X-raid pairings, Guiga Spinelli (BRA) / Youssef Haddad (BRA) und Sylvio de Barros (BRA) / Rafael Capoani (BRA), secured a total of three one-twos in the stages, with their MINI ALL4 Racing vehicles. Following the problems in the early stages of the event, the Brazilians stunned the crowds with an amazing catch-up show to finish fifth and seventh, in the end.
Following his win in the Dos Sertões prologue, Spinelli started into his home rally with high expectations but at the end of day one he dropped out of the contention for the top positions. Due to V-belt problems he couldn’t finish the first special stage but despite the setback he refused to give in. The Brazilian kept on pushing and used the chance of gathering more experience with the MINI ALL4 Racing – a new racing car for him. In the second stage, Spinelli finished third to win the other five stages. With these outstanding achievements, he worked his way back up from 17th position to secure the sensational fifth place, in the end.
De Barros also had to cope with a major dose of bad luck in the early stages of the event. He somersaulted in the second special stage and lost a lot of ground. But like Spinelli, he didn’t mope but really went for it in the following special stages. With several second places he made up for a major part of the lost ground to cross the finish podium in Bonito in seventh position.
“Unfortunately we weren’t able to be a factor in the battle for the win, following day one,” said Guiga Spinelli. “Afterwards we set ourselves the goal to win as many stages as possible and we did so by securing five of the seven stages and the prologue. We are really happy with the entire team: my co-driver Youssef Haddad, the X-raid team and all the friends and the family that supported us. We improved with the MINI throughout the rally and are determined to fight for a better result, next year.
Simultaneously to the final day of the Rally dos Sertões, the Argentinean Desafío Ruta 40 was started. The prologue was won by the MINI ALL4 Racing pairing Orlando Terranova and Bernardo ‘Ronnie’ Graue (both ARG). More information on the Desafío Ruta 40 here: http://desafioruta40.com.ar