Demanding navigation and tricky terrain provides superb test for Ford Ranger
DMAS South Racing is preparing to run a Ford Ranger at next week’s Sealine Cross-Country Rally, Qatar’s third round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, which starts out of the Losail International Circuit on Monday morning.
The team that has run Ford Rangers on the last three Dakar rallies for Lucio Alvarez and the former WRC duo of Federico Villagra and Xavier Pons, has entered the all-Chilean crew of Hernan Garces and Juan Pablo Vinagre in Qatar.
Garces has tackled the Dakar Rally on two occasions, but this is his first foray into the Middle East. He also won last year’s Atacama Rally in South America, a round of the CODESUR South American Championship.
“This is a superb opportunity for Hernan and Juan Pablo to take part in the Sealine event for the first time and give everyone at DMAS South Racing another superb opportunity to continue the development of the Ford Ranger,” said South Racing’s managing director Scott Abraham.
“It is a long and difficult rally. The navigation is very tricky and the terrain is varied. It will be a good test for the whole team.”
Less than two weeks ago, the Germany-based team reached the finish of the gruelling five-day Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Spanish driver Fernando Alvarez and his Argentinean navigator Luciano Gennoni finished 17th in the Conarpesa-backed vehicle and the Venezuelan duo of Nunzio Coffaro and Daniel Meneses steered the Team Azimut Venezuela car to 16th.
Teams will tackle five selective sections in the Qatar deserts over demanding off-road terrain that spans the length and breadth of the gas-rich Middle Eastern state. The first section starts out of Al-Zubara, to the very north of the peninsula, and runs for 229.53km on Monday.
Tuesday’s second stage begins at Al-Kharrara and finishes close to the bivouac in Losail after 345.39km. Stage three, on Wednesday, April 20, starts from Sealine – to the south of Doha – and is the longest of all the stages at 355.69km.
The fourth selective section runs for 354.56km between Al-Shabana and Sealine on Thursday, April 21 and the final section of 348.21km starts out of Rawdat Rashid and runs to a finish close to the bivouac at Sealine on Friday, April 22. This precedes the ceremonial finish and post-event press conference at the Losail circuit.