The second edition of the Desafío Inca on Peruvian soil was a massive success, with the best competitors in each of the three different categories claiming victory in a race open until the very end. Nani Roma (cars), Claudio Rodríguez (motorcycles) and Alonso Elías (quads) prevailed and took home the 2014 trophy.
CARS: NANI ROMA CROWNED IN PERU
Spain’s top driver Nani Roma (Mini All 4 Racing) lived up to his status as one of the big favourites on the dunes of Ica and won the second edition of the Desafío Inca, clinching his first triumph on Peruvian soil with a final time of 13 h 21′48″. He and co-driver Michel Périn did an excellent job and put on a dominant performance throughout the three stages of the final leg of the Dakar Series.
Roma led the race from start to finish, claiming all three stages and six specials at stake in this edition. It was a strong showing by the official Mini driver, who left nothing to his rivals in the three-day race. Rodrigo Moreno (+1 h 37′42″) was runner-up, with Peru’s Duro 4×4 team placing Diego Weber (+2 h 23′21″) in third place as the best Peruvian van in the race.
MOTORCYCLES: CLAUDIO RODRÍGUEZ BRINGS HOME THE BACON
Ica’s just witnessed one of the tightest races of the 2014 Dakar Series. Chile’s Claudio Rodríguez (KTM 450) struck the decisive blow at the eleventh hour to win the motorcycle category, in which four different riders were still in with a shout before the last special. Rodríguez took the top honours in Peru in one of the most closely fought categories in the entire race. Claudio pulled out all the stops in the last special, clocking a final time of 13 h 00′07″ and leapfrogging José Cornejo by a puny 3″.
A deserved win for Rodríguez at the end of today’s stage, which he started in style by taking the first special, giving him the motivation he needed to dominate the rest of the day and become the worthy winner of the Peruvian event. José Cornejo (+3″) and France’s David Casteu (+4′12″) also rode strongly on the majestic Peruvian dunes and took the remaining two steps on the podium.
QUADS: ALONSO ELÍAS WINS TO THE DELIGHT OF THE HOME CROWDS
Young Peruvian star Alonso Elías (Yamaha Raptor 700) went down in history in his country by winning the quad race with an outstanding time of 14 h 10′50″, after he used the last special of the day to blaze past Chile’s Víctor Gallegos (+1′55″), leader of the race until the first special of the closing stage. Elías is the first Peruvian rider ever to have won a category at the Desafío Inca.
Alonso gave Peru its first champion, a big success for the young Peruvian quad rider, who showed huge potential and earned a place among the country’s rising sports stars. Rodolfo Guillioli (+34′43″) rounded off the podium.
DAKAR SERIES: DAVID CASTEU AND NELSON SANABRIA TASTE VICTORY
France’s David Casteu (motorcycles) and Paraguay’s Nelson Sanabria (quads) were crowned champions of the 2014 Dakar Series thanks to their solid performances in Peru. After taking part in the Desafío Ruta 40 in Argentina and the Desafío Guaraní in Paraguay, the two riders capped a great season in Ica, taking the top honours in one of the most challenging tournaments in the world, featuring the elite of rally raid and the toughest races held on the continent. Casteu successfully defended in Peru the title he conquered last year.
GUILLIOLI AND GULDMAN PREVAIL IN THE DAKAR CHALLENGE
Cristóbal Guldman (motorcycles) and Rodolfo Guillioli (quads) were the best amateur competitors in the 2014 Desafío Inca and, after overcoming the majestic, challenging dunes around Ica, won the Dakar Challenge and the much coveted prize it entails: a ticket to the 2015 Dakar Rally. A deserved victory for the two riders, who made clear their ambition to continue shining in the future.
WHAT THE PROTAGONISTS HAD TO SAY
Claudio Rodríguez – Winner of the motorcycle classification: “This gives me the goose bumps. I’m delighted. Today’s stage was fast but very much like the previous ones. I went flat out to get a podium place and beat Felipe Ríos. We were fighting within 24 seconds, it was very close. Then I saw how strong I was going, and I’m really happy. I’d like to thank my team and my mechanics. My entire team here at the rally, my family and my sponsors.”
Alonso Elías – Winner of the quad classification: “I wasn’t expecting this. I’m very surprised. I didn’t expect to finish in the top 5. I’m happy I made it to the finish, which was my main goal, but even happier to have won. It comes as a surprise, but I think we were racing strongly from the beginning, with lots of common sense, calm and a level head. I gave it my all today.”
Nani Roma – Winner of the car classification: “We’re always happy when we win a race. I think the best part was tackling three gruelling stages with a total of over 900 kilometres raced mostly on dunes. It was very demanding, the dunes are very tough. We’re happy we won, but we were the odds-on favourites. The best part was all this training, all these tests, lots of kilometres… That was the best part, to be honest.”