Rallye

Adrien Van Beveren Launches 2023 Desafio Ruta 40 with Prologue Victory

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Frenchman Adrien Van Beveren was the fastest in the 2023 Desafio Ruta 40 rally in Argentina.

Adrien Van Beveren has gained the upper hand by clinching victory in the prologue at the Desafio Ruta 40 event which is now up and running in Argentina.

The opening Prologue determined the standings for Stage 1, featuring a short run spanning approximately nine kilometres in length and connected by a 29 km road link.

Luciano Benavides followed winner Adrien Van Beveren closely (06:49) to claim second, while Dakar winner Ricky Brabec finished just two seconds behind in third place.

The competition at the front was intense, with times almost identical. Matthias Walkner narrowly missed the top three, posting a time of 06:50, a time incidentally matched by American Brabec. Spaniard Tosha Schareina trailed just a single second behind, securing fourth place. Former Dakar winner Toby Price, also the current FIM World Rally Raid Championship leader, recorded the same time as Schareina (06:50) but secured sixth place.

Winner Adrien Van Beveren commented, “Overall I had a good feeling during this prologue. I enjoy this kind of track, it’s technical and slippery. It was easy to make mistakes, I made only one when I entered too fast on a corner. my Honda CRF 450 Rally is going really well in these extreme conditions and this makes me feel even more confident.”

Aussie Toby Price overshot some corners on a slippery road that cost him some time but was 6th and will be starting from a good place of 7th for the opening race stage.

The prologue track was situated around Los Sauces Dam, nestled near La Rioja’s city centre. Impressively intricate and winding, this warm-up served as the initial opportunity for local fans to witness the top rally-raid experts in full action.

The Desafio Ruta 40, is the fourth and penultimate leg of the World Rally Raid Championship (W2RC). Returning to the Argentine terrain after a decade of hosting the Dakar Rally, the 2023 edition is centred around La Rioja.

Tomorrow’s leg will remain within the province of La Rioja, presenting a challenging day for the riders. The first stage will encompass a circuit covering nearly 700 km, starting and concluding in La Rioja: 362 km of liaison coupled with a 334 km Special Stage. At this juncture, gravel will dominate the terrain, constituting 85% of the track. This implies that the sand specialists will encounter their favored element for just 15% of the route.

Ricky Brabec, the Third Fastest Rider, powers through the Argentine Landscape.

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