South Racing Can-Am Team's Alexandre Ré seals FIA World Cup Bajas title with victory in Portugal

South Racing Can-Am Team's Alexandre Ré seals FIA World Cup Bajas title with victory in Portugal

31.10.2021: Baja Portalegre 500 – October 28-30, 2021 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, round 9 FIA European Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, round 5 • Barros, Thewessen and Al-Saif reach finish in sixth, ninth and 11th overall

Baja Portalegre 500 – October 28-30, 2021   
FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, round 9
FIA European Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, round 5

•         Barros, Thewessen and Al-Saif reach finish in sixth, ninth and 11th overall   


South Racing Can-Am Team’s Alexandre Ré earned a comfortable victory in the FIA T4 category at Portugal’s Baja Portalegre 500 and, in so doing, sealed the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas T4 title to add to the FIA European Cup for Cross-Country Bajas T4 title he had sealed with a round to spare.

Partnered by his brother Pedro, Ré reached the finish of the two-day Baja, 21min 14.3sec clear of Italy’s Amerigo Ventura, despite an intercom issue from the first day and driving in appallingly wet stage conditions.

“This was a difficult race,” said Pedro Ré, who co-drove his brother to a stunning ninth in the general classification. “The door opened on the Qualifying stage and one of our helmets had a problem with water and meant that the communications system would not work between us in the car. As brothers we can talk to each other in many different ways….But we are very happy with the result.”

Saudi Arabia’s Saleh Al-Saif arrived in Portugal 19 points clear of the Portuguese in the championship standings, but a first day accident led to damaged rear suspension and a broken wheel that cost the Saudi dearly and he and Russian navigator Kirill Shubin brought their South Racing Can-Am to the finish in 11th place. They finished second in the T4 section of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas.

The Portuguese duo of Gualter Barros and Francisco Esperto crewed a third South Racing Can-Am and reached the finish in sixth in the FIA T4 category .

The Dutch father and son crew of Andre and Mayk Thewessen entered a fourth South Racing Maverick and were classified in ninth.

“One year ago I bought a car and I do some rallies,” said Thewessen. “This is the second time I drive in a FIA race after Andalucia and this time I drive with my son. We had problems with the trip meter on Friday morning and the conditions were very difficult for those driving behind the leading cars.”

South Racing Can-Am Team’s manager Scott Abraham said:
“This was a great result for the South Racing Can-Am Team. Once again, Portalegre dished up a very challenging and competitive event. Alex and Pedro took the victory after a hard-fought championship. This was another great result for Can-Am, showing that they have the strongest and most reliable side-by-side vehicle on the market.

“It’s fantastic for the team to win both the FIA World and European Baja cups and would not have been possible without a full team effort. Now we have a two-day turnaround and we head off to Abu Dhabi to defend the FIA World Cup with a 14-car line-up!”

Ré set a stunning time of 3min 08.3sec for the opening qualifying stage and that was 5.3 seconds quicker than the time set by nearest rival Amerigo Ventura. Al-Saif was fourth and Barros slotted into ninth place.

Action resumed with a selective section of 62.55km between Ponte Sôr and Alter do Chão on Saturday afternoon and Ré continued his sensational run of form to comfortably win the stage in the T4 category and hold 14th overall, despite an intercom issue.

Nearest rival Ventura was two minutes adrift, with Barros down in ninth place. Thewessen was 11th, but Al-Saif incurred a stage maximum time penalty and slipped to 14th after an accident.

Ré said: “
It was a very wet day and we have no windscreen so it is wet, wet and wet! We started the Qualifying Stage with a problem with the door. We stopped twice to try and close the door. On the longer stage we were very careful because there are a lot of kilometres on Saturday.”

Ré was again the pace-setter on the third selective section of 146.24km on Saturday morning and increased his advantage over Ventura to 6min 12.3sec. Al-Saif was third fastest but the damage had been done to his title aspirations on Friday afternoon and he needed problems for rivals to stand any chance of claiming the FIA T4 world title.

Ré added:
“The stage was a little bit slippery but we tried to manage to do a clean stage. The problem we had yesterday with communications (intercom) continues the same.”

The decisive final stage was split into two competitive sections of 88.44km and 99.63km by a short neutralisation of 9.13km. Ré was fastest again to confirm victory and enough points to seal the FIA World Cup for Bajas T4 title, with Barros, Thewessen and Al-Saif reaching the finish in sixth, ninth and 11th.

Support for the South Racing Can-Am Team came from Method Wheels, Tensor Tires, Jjuan Brake Systems, Motul, Bell, Lazer and OMP.

2021 Baja Portalegre 500 – FIA T4 result:

1. Alexandre Ré (PRT)/Pedro Ré (PRT) South Racing Can-Am Maverick                                             5hr 24min 16.3sec

2. Amerigo Ventura (ITA)/Mirko Brun (ITA) Yamaha YXZ 1000 R                                                   5hr 45min 30.6sec

3. Eduard Pons Sune (ESP)/Oriol Mena (ESP) Can-Am Maverick                                                   5hr 57min 01.1sec

4. David Vieira (PRT)/Sergio Faria (PRT) Can-Am Maverick XRC                                                   6hr 01min 57.9sec

5. Armen Puzian (RUS)/Evgenii Zagorodniuk (RUS) (LVA) Can-Am Maverick                                              6hr 05min 27.7sec

6. Gualter Barros (PRT)/Francisco Esperto (PRT) South Racing Can-Am Maverick                             6hr 36min 41.6sec

7. Gert-Jan van der Valk (NLD)/Branco de Lange (NLD) Can-Am Maverick                                 6hr 36min 44.5sec

8. Miguel Valero (ESP)/Jacqueline Ricci (ESP) Can-Am Maverick                                                 6hr 37min 17.4sec

9. Andre Thewessen (NLD)/Mayk Thewessen (NLD) South Racing Can-Am Maverick                       6hr 41min 17.1sec

10. Egidijus Valeisa (LTU)/Mindaugas Varza (LTU) Can-Am Maverick                                                        6hr 48min 56.7sec


11. Saleh Al-Saif (SAU)/Kirill Shubin (RUS) South Racing Can-Am Maverick                                      6hr 58min 43.8sec

- Neil Perkins, photos Baja Portalegre


31.10.2021 / MaP

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