DAKAR MOTORSPORT NEWS

Rally dos Sertões 2018: NWM-X Rally Team leading the Sertões

The joint effort between South Africa’s Neil Woolridge Motorsport and Brazil’s X Rally Team is leading the overall classification after two days of competition in the Rally dos Sertões. Current car champions Cristian Baumgart and Beco Andreotti, in great form, won the first two rounds in the chase for their third consecutive title and lead the standings.
Cristian Baumgart

Debuting in the team from São Paulo, Sylvio de Barros put the NWM-built Ford Ranger V8 4×4 in second on both stages, and holds the same position, 6 minutes and 9 seconds behind the Baumgart/Andreotti pair.

After leaving Goiânia, the Sertões went from Formosa to Posses, in Goiás, this Monday. There were 386 kilometers where the Ford Rangers V8 4×4 were capable of reaching top speeds above 180 kph.
“This year’s Sertões started scaring a lot of people”
, stated Cristian Baumgart. The first stage was shortened due an accident with Glauber Fontoura’s car, which rolled. Driver and co-driver only sustained minor injuries and were cleared from the hospital.

“We opted to be more progressive in our pace to get the car to the pits in one piece. Today was different: fun to drive, slow in the beginning, but very fast in the other two thirds of the stage”, he said.

His brother Marcos was fourth and fifth, and sustains the fourth position in the overall rankings almost 18 minutes behind X Rally’s leading car. He and his co-driver Kleber Cincea did not scape unscathed: a GPS problem on day one and a issue with the water pumb of the rear brakes in the begining of the second stage held the potential of the duo.

The two first days were of mixed feelings for Gareth Woolridge and Gunter Hinkelmann with the X Rally-built Ford Rangers V8 4×4 that race in the T1 Brasil class. Gareth snapped his suspension after a severe bump and was unable to finish the first day. Gunter, otherwise, suffered a technical issue during the liaison to the start; after the repairs, he took the car to the starting line and arrived six minute late – as he was impeded to being his race by the officials.

However, there is always the following day. With the cars repaired and ready, both Gareth and Gunter put on na astonishing pace, finishing the second stage in positions four and six, repectively – a 1-2 in the T1 Brasil class after 307 kilometers of race.

“A very different day, fortunately. I have been more familiar with the race and the communication between Hasa (Marcelo Haseyama, Gareth’s co-driver) improved a lot today. That was very positive and it brings us even more enthusiasm to keep pushing”, said the 24-year old son of Neil Woolridge.

As for Hinkelmann, the same feeling.

“Yesterday we were very frustrated, and today I can say we had lots of fun. The stage was very good and the Ford Ranger behaved like a rocket. Two days with completely different ends, and now I sincerely hope we can finish the following days with a smile on our faces”.

Gunter’s Ford Ranger reached the top speed of 186 kph.

Rally dos Sertões 2018: A day of great improvement for Gareth Woolridge
South-African ace accomplished his goal to make up some time – and plans to continuing doing so in the following days in Brasil
This Sunday was a day of delight for Gareth Woolridge. The youngest son of South-African cross country legend Neil Woolridge makes in the Rally dos Sertões his international racing debut. He drives the T1 Brasil class X Rally Team-built Ford Ranger V8 4×4 alongside Brazilian co-driver Marcelo Haseyama. After a good prologue, the first stage gave a bitter taste to the 24-year old racer. 24 hours later, everything changed.

Gareth snapped his suspension after a severe bump and was unable to finish the first day. The joint effort between Neil Woolridge Motorsport and X Rally Team fixed the car for the second day and Gareth corresponded the work of the crew of mechanics by setting the fastest time in the T1 Brasil class – fourth in the general results.

After crossing the line, the young Woolridge was overjoyed.

“A very different day, fortunately. I have been more familiar with the race and the communication between Hasa (Marcelo Haseyama, Gareth’s co-driver) improved a lot today. That was very positive and it brings us even more enthusiasm to keep pushing”.

His father Neil highlighted the fact that the setback the day before made his son even stronger. “He has picked himself up and has come back like a champion today”, he said.

This Tuesday reserves 350 kilometers for competitors from the cities of Posse, in Goiás, and Luís Eduardo Magalhães, already in the Bahia state. The 255-km stage starts after a short 24-km liaison.

Top-6 Day 2 results:
FORMOSA (GO) – POSSES (GO)

1. 301 Cristian Baumgart/Beco Andreotti (Ford Ranger) – 3:10:19.5
2. 315 Sylvio de Barros/Rafael Capoani (Ford Ranger) – 3:11:36.2
3. 325 Rafael Cassol/Lelio Junior (Giaffone Buggy) – 3:15:23.0
4. 319 Gareth Woolridge/Marcelo Haseyama (Ford Ranger) – 3:16:24.9
5. 303 Marcos Baumgart/Kleber Cincea (Ford Ranger) – 3:18:26.2
6. 348 Gunter Hinkelmann/Fábio Pedroso (Ford Ranger) – 3:19:07.6

General classification – CARS (X Rally Team):
1. Cristian Baumgart/Beco Andreotti – 5:10:09.4
2. Sylvio de Barros/Rafael Capoani – a 6:09.3
4. Marcos Baumgart/Kleber Cincea – a 17:42.8
21. Gareth Woolridge/Marcelo Haseyama – a 2:36:38.5
27. Gunter Hinkelmann/Fábio Pedroso – a 7:39:20.2

Source: Rally-Raid Network