Marc Coma repeats victory in the motorbike class and Nani Roma takes his first win in cars. The Raid has left Argentina today to enter Chile.
The special raced today was the shortest of the Patagonia Atacama Raid with only 91.21 timed kilometres. Participants took the start in
Las Heras (Mendoza) and finished in Uspallata. The day included the border crossing at the Los Libertadores Pass, between Argentina and Chile. After the end of the special, participants had crossed the Andes mountain range, and the head for Santiago in liaison. Once in the Chilean capital, they will have to participate this afternoon at 05.00 p.m. (local time) at the traditional Movicenter Superspecial, a show stage of 2.15 kilometres.
In the motorbike class, the winner of the last Lisbon-Dakar rally, Repsol rider Marc Coma, took today his third leg win out of four legs staged so far, thus strengthening his position in the lead of the overall standings. Team mate Jordi Viladoms made a small navigation mistake that made him loose some positions in the leg, but he is still third overall.
In the car class, the victory went today to Repsol driver Nani Roma, at the wheel of his Mitsubishi, who is fighting for the overall lead of the race with team mate Luc Alphand, winner of the last Lisbon-Dakar Rally. After Nani's victory today, the French driver has seen how his advantage over his team mate was drastically reduced. Nani is now only 11 seconds behind him.
Tomorrow, the Patagonia Atacama Raid will be back into action very early in the morning. The fifth leg will take participants through the so-called Norte Chico of Chile. The caravan will start from the village of Canela Baja heading for La Serena, and Repsol rider Marc Coma will be the first one to start from parc fermé.
Marc Coma: "A very short stage, only 90 kilometres, more enduro-like and in the mountains. We're already in Chile, after passing the border. The terrain was very enduro-like, without much navigation. It was a leg to enjoy. We'll have the first leg in Chile tomorrow, very mountainous; I guess that it's going to be hot and it's going to need a lot of riding technique."
Jordi Viladoms: "I'm not very happy. It was a short stage, with no navigation problems, but I made a mistake and followed the wrong track, so I got a bit lost. The problem is that, since it was such a short stage, I wasn't able to make up time, so the position hasn't been good."
Nani Roma: "Good, it's been a very nice, short, mountain leg. A technical special. I went behind Luc, following his dust trail and I didn't even try to overtake him, because it was really dangerous. We have a 150 km leg tomorrow, across the mountains, very similar to today, with better tracks but completely in the mountains."
Press Release Respol Media Service