Guarani & Toyota Hilux have all the luck in Paraguay!
SOUTH RACING’S PETER JERIE TAKES OUTRIGHT VICTORY IN DESAFIO GUARANI IN PARAGUAY
ASUNCIÓN (PARAGUAY): South Racing enjoyed a superb run in the punishing Desafio Guarani, the second event in the prestigious Dakar Series, with Peter Jerie taking outright victory for the German-based team and Fernando Alvarez finishing fourth overall.
Desafio Guarani took place over five demanding stages through some of the remotest terrain in Paraguay and Czech driver Jerie and French navigator Laurent Lichtleuchter notched up the most important victory of their respective careers and their second Dakar Series podium. Their winning margin was a staggering 3hr 23min 33sec.
“The race was really difficult,” admitted Toyota Hilux driver Jerie. “In all my years of racing, I have not raced in so much water and mud. The route was extremely challenging. I give a big thanks to Laurent and the entire South Racing team for making this win possible.”
South Racing had finished third, fifth and eighth in the first of the Dakar Series events in Argentina in May and went on to win four of the five stages in Paraguay. Alvarez and his Argentinean navigator Luciano Genonni enjoyed a solid run to finish fourth, as the Spaniard continues to gain invaluable cross-country experience. He had to fight back from delays on the second stage and finished the event strongly with a pair of stage wins in his Conarpesa/Iprisco-backed Toyota Hilux.
The Paraguayan father and son crew of Viktor and Vernon Rempel were not able to reach the finish in the third South Racing car. They were the early pacesetters until they damaged the engine in their Puma Oils-backed Toyota Hilux at a river crossing eight kilometres from the end of the fourth stage and retired. The Rempel duo won two stages and set fastest passage control times on all the specials until their demise.
“It was a difficult race, made more so due to the extreme rainfall that fell in the area before and during the event,” said South Racing’s director Scott Abraham. “This was a great result for our team and marked our first international race victory. It was a bitter sweet moment though after the retirement of Viktor and Vernon after such a strong race. I would like to thank the entire team and all the people who have helped build South Racing over the past two years and who continue to support us.”
South Racing was founded in 2013. Based near Frankfurt in Germany, the young, customer-driven team also has workshops in Portugal and has extensive experience of the Dakar Rally and rallying in South America.
Organised by the Touring Automovil Club, with the approval of the Confederación deportiva Automovilistica Sudamericana and the full support of the Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) that runs the gruelling Dakar Rally in January, the event started in the Paraguayan capital of Asunción and ran for five days in extremely muddy conditions, reminiscent of the famous Camel Trophy at times.
Rempel won the opening special between the capital and Villarrica and the second stage back to Asunción where Alvarez was delayed with clutch issues in the muddy conditions and he also lost time. Rempel and Jerie maintained their composure at the head of the field through the third special between Asunción and Encarnación, with Alvarez clocking the second quickest time behind Rempel.
The Paraguayan’s engine let go after a river crossing near the end of the fourth stage between Encarnación and Asunción and that opened the door for Alvarez to claim the quickest time and Jerie to maintain his outright lead after a consistent drive. Alvarez was again fastest on the final loop stage around Asunción and the third quickest time ensured that Jerie claimed South Racing’s first international victory.
The third round of the Dakar Series takes place in Peru in September.
2015 Desafio Guarani – final positions:
1. Peter Jerie (CZE)/Laurent Lichtleuchter (FRA) Toyota Hilux 23hr 07min 43sec
2. Beto Recalde (PRY)/Juan Sánchez Bachen (PRY) Toyota Hilux 26hr 34min 16sec
3. César Marsal (PRY)/Adolfo González (PRY) Toyota Hilux 28hr 34min 36sec
4. Fernando Alvarez (ESP)/Luciano Genonni (ARG) Toyota Hilux 33hr 05min 04sec
5. Martin Maldonado (ARG)/Sebastien Scholz (ARG) Prototipo Colcar 36hr 35min 04sec
6. Martin Maine (ARG)/Caroline Carcasson (ARG) Toyota Hilux 41hr 31min 34sec, etc