The prologue of the Rally dos Sertões was held this Saturday (23rd) in Goiania (Goiás State) and set the starting order for the 1st stage of the Rally dos Sertões, which starts on Sunday (24th) its 22th edition, towards Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais State). Defending the title on bikes, the Portuguese Paulo Gonçalves (Honda HRC Team) was the fastest on the 10 km track in a straight line, with a time of 6min01s. The Brazilian Jean Azevedo (Honda Mobil Rally) also showed that he is among the favorites to fight for his sixth title in the Sertões and finished as the first runner-up (6min08s). The Spaniard Marc Coma (KTM Red Bull Factory Team), who is leading the FIM World Cross Country Rally, was third (6min20s).
Thirty-seven bikes competed in the prologue. “It was a short special. I got a really nice time. The grid is very strong and I need to go well to recover in the FIM World Cross Country Rally”, said the Portuguese, who does not consider bad being the first to start tomorrow towards Caldas Novas (GO), which will be the final destination of the 1st stage.
“It will not be so bad, because of the dust, but we will still discuss with the team the best position”, said. The first 10 riders in the prologue can choose the starting position in the initial stage.
In the fight between the quads, the Brazilian Marcelo Medeiros (Taguatur Racing), winner of the Rally dos Sertões in 2012, was the best in the prologue, beating the current champion Robert Nahas (second) and the Polish Rafal Sonik (third). Seventeen quads were in the prologue.
With 21 UTVs in the dispute, the category also had a good fight during the prologue. José Hélio and Edmilson de Camargo Jr. (Polaris Racing) were the fastest (6min41s). The second and third were the duo Rodrigo Varela / John Henry Arena (Divino Fogão Rally Team) and Gustavo Xavier / Breno Rezende, respectively.
First Stage: Goiania / Catalão
This Sunday (24th), the competitors depart towards Caldas Novas in the dispute of the 1st stage of the Rally dos Sertões 2014. It will be 216.21 km in total on the first day (40.50 km of initial liaison, 155.65 km of special and 20.06 km of final liaison).
Between Goiânia and Belo Horizonte, Sertões will go through five more cities. Three will host the rally for the first time: Catalão, Paracatu and São Francisco. Caldas Novas and Diamantina complete the route.
Besides bikes, UTVs and quads, the Sertões also has disputes in the categories of cars and trucks. There are seven stages, more than 2600 km (1572 km of special). The dispute has 197 competitors in total from seven countries: Brazil, Chile, Spain, France, Poland, Portugal and the UK. In bikes and quads category, the Sertões will also be valid for the FIM World Cross Country Rally.
Prologue Results (extra official):
1 #1 PAULO GONÇALVES (HONDA / TEAM HONDA HRC) 06min01s0
2 #5 JEAN AZEVEDO (HONDA / HONDA MOBIL DE RALLY) 06min08s0
3 #2 MARC COMA (KTM / KTM RED BULL FACTORY TEAM) 06min20s0
4 #14 DAVID CASTEU (KTM / CASTEU ELF) 06min21s0
5 #4 HELDER RODRIGUES (HONDA / TEAM HONDA HRC) 06min25s0