- Desafio Ruta 40 Rally 2013
- Stage 5, Chilecito – San Juan, 781 km, 455 km Special stage (partly cancelled)
- Freezing overnight temperatures force cancellation of special stage
The penultimate day of the Ruta 40 in Argentina should have been a very long and exciting one. But because of overnight temperatures below the freezing point the stage had to be shortened. Therefore the racing was not as exciting as expected.
Two special stages were scheduled. The first was meant to lead through dry river beds with trial-like sections and up to 3,100 metres altitude. This demanding part was cancelled.
The second special test offered a huge contrast. The riders had to deal with wide-open elements at an average speed of over 100 kph. Speedbrain rider Paulo Goncalves was not able to gain back time under these conditions.
Following his error on Thursday he was forced to enter the stage in 12th position. The Portuguese had to deal with dust, which made passing maneuvers too risky. Goncalves, who had the speed to be faster aboard his Speedbrain 450 R, finished the day in seventh place.
Paulo Goncalves: “It was impossible to achieve more, mainly due to the dust. The risk would have been too high in case of an attack. I suffered from the terrible starting position following what happened yesterday.”
The 34-year-old will give his best to improve his result during the closing stage. Saturday sees the field ride a loop around San Juan. The distance is 354 km altogether and the special stage is only 146 km, taking the riders through river beds and fesh-fesh sand.
Results Stage 5
1. Lopez (CHL, KTM) 2:27:25 hrs
2. Caselli (USA, KTM) +00:01:07
3. Rodrigues (PRT, Honda) +00:02:12
4. Coma (ESP, KTM) +00:02:52
5. Casteu (FRA, Yamaha) +00:05:08
7. Paulo Goncalves (PRT, Speedbrain) +00:05:25
Overall standings after Stage 5
1. Lopez (CHL, KTM) 16:38:28
2. Rodrigues (PRT, Honda) +00:00:01
3. Caselli (USA, KTM) +00:00:35
4. Coma (ESP, KTM) +00:03:58
5. Pizzolito (ARG, Honda) +00:06:19
7. Paulo Goncalves (PRT, Speedbrain) +00:15:42