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Morocco Desert Challenge 2019

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Desafio Inca: South Racing dominates SxS category

American racer Casey Currie and French navigator Laurent Lichtleuchter claimed overall victory as the South Racing Can-Am racing team dominated the final results in the SxS category at Desafío Inca, the latest round of the prestigious Dakar Series.  


After a third successive leg of demanding sandy passages through the perilous sand dunes in the Pacific coastal deserts around Ica in Peru, South Racing’s fleet of Can-Am Maverick X3s had climbed to the front of the field with Currie taking outright victory.

Can-Ams completed a clean sweep of the entire category: South Racing cars were first, third, fourth and fifth overall with the Brazilian pairing of Cristian Baumgart and Alberto Neto shadowing Fernando de Olazabal to the podium in third place, Marcos Baumgart and navigator Kleber Cincea coming home in fourth and Chile’s Hernan Garces enjoying success in his Can-Am by racing alone to take fifth place.

"The Inca Challenge has been an incredible and enriching experience," said a delighted Currie. "One of the goals for this year was to find the best way to reach the Dakar and I think this is something that all competitors in the United States want to do. I think this result has helped me a lot for this learning."

The South Racing Can-Am Team set about defending their top three positions in the SxS category on the last stage of 200km, a desert loop around Ica. Currie led the category by 54min 31sec from Reinaldo Varela and Cristian Baumgart was third, 54min 54sec behind, at the start of the third day.

Brazilian driver Varela and his regular co-driver Gustavo Gugelmin were in an impressive pace and running at the front end of the field. Unfortunately, they bent a steering arm on the last day and were unable to continue.

South Racing's managing director Scott Abraham said: “It was a superb result for the team on a very difficult rally and a formidable challenge. Casey takes the win and Can-Ams have taken a clean sweep of the podium. The event was good experience for Varela for Dakar and a useful debut for Christian Baumgart on his first time out in the SxS category.

"It was a very useful exercise for the entire team. We have taken a lot away for our Dakar preparations. This next Dakar looks as though it will be a very difficult race for all competitors, even though it takes place entirely in Peru. The three stages on this event proved that they can be just as demanding as any other area on a cross-country rally".

Portugal’s Miguel Jordão and Lourial Roldan retired the sixth South Racing Can-Am but an action-packed race. They learned a lot from their experience before the challenges of the Rally of Morocco in two weeks’ time and the Dakar Rally that lies in wait in 2019.

Argentina’s Adrian Yacopini and Ricardo Torlaschi were sidelined after the driver fractured his thumb during an impact on day one.

Neil Perkins,

Marie-France Estenave pour MFE-Live.com

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