Monster Energy Can-Am Team's Reinaldo Varela seals T3 glory

Monster Energy Can-Am Team's Reinaldo Varela seals T3 glory

26.02.2019: ... in Manateq Qatar Cross-Country Rally Manateq Qatar Cross-Country Rally Ė February 21-26, 2019 2019 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, round 1 Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

... in Manateq Qatar Cross-Country Rally






Manateq Qatar Cross-Country Rally – February 21-26, 2019
2019 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, round 1
 Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

 



The Monster Energy Can-Am Team duo of Reinaldo Varela and Gustavo Gugelmin won the T3 category at the Manateq Qatar Cross-Country Rally, round one of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, at Lusail, north of Doha, on Tuesday.
 


The Brazilian ensured that their South-Racing-run Can-Am Maverick X3 stayed out of trouble over the final 261km stage to enable the crew to win the prestigious category by a stunning margin of 2hrs 33min 12sec. The team controlled the event from the third day and saw off a strong field of international rivals to claim the win.
 


Scott Abraham of the Monster Energy Can-Am Team, sai
d: “It was a great race for Reinaldo and Gustavo. They ran a smart race. The Can-Am had no issues along the way and that is testament to the quality of the vehicle, as well as the team, and it’s a good way to start the World Cup. We are looking forward to Abu Dhabi in a month’s time. For sure, it will be a closer race there. We keep on pushing and keep on working.
 


“I think Reinaldo’s experience in T1 and T2 gave him a good advantage. He’s a T2 World Champion from 2013. The T3s are great packages and affordable race cars, but you also need to take care of them. The true speed of the vehicles will be shown in the dunes in Abu Dhabi which, I believe, is their true habitat.”
 


Varela started strongly and held 10th overall and second in T3 after the short opening selective section of 109.76km that looped around the central Qatar deserts and started and finished close to the village of Al-Kharsaah.
 


A series of three punctures seriously hampered the Brazilian’s progress through the opening kilometres of the longer second stage that started in the north of Qatar, near the town of Al-Khor, and finished south-west of Doha, near Mukhaines. But Varela recovered strongly over the subsequent sections of the stage and reached the finish with the stage win, eighth overall and a 22-second lead in the T3 category over Abdullah Al-Zubair.
 


The first real sand dunes on the easterly run through Qatar towards the Inland Sea took their toll on the T3 field and Varela survived with only minor delays. He went on to card the second fastest time on the longest timed section of the event – 351.98km – and reached the finish still in eighth overall and with a massive lead of 1hr 57min in the T3 section over Russian rival Yedor Yorobeyev.
 


Despite finishing third on both the shorter desert sections on day four, Varela managed to extend his T3 advantage to 2hrs 36min 10sec heading into the last overnight halt before the final stage of 263.88km.


 
“The fourth stage had difficult navigation,” said Varela. “But Qatar is like this and very nice dunes in the second stage and we did well. We had a very good advantage to the second place so we were taking care not to get lost, taking care of the car, everything.”
 


The crew stayed out of trouble through the final 261km to finish the stage ninth in T3, but well clear of runner-up Fedor Yorobeyev of Russia.
 




Scott Abraham, South Racing photos

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26.02.2019 / MaP

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