2018 Cross-Country Rallies | Desafío Ruta 40
Paulo Gonçalves Extends Overall Lead
This is a press release from HRC…
The fourth stage of the Desafío Ruta 40 brought with it good results for the Monster Energy Honda Team. Despite opening the track, Paulo Gonçalves minimized the handicap and managed to finish the day on the podium. Brabec was fourth on the penultimate stage.
Photos by RallyZone/Edoardo Bauer
In spite of the hindrance of having to open the field, as the Desafío Ruta 40 reached its fourth day, Paulo Gonçalves was able to maintain a swift pace high in the mountains linking Tinogasta and Villa Unión. In doing so the rider was able to keep the aspirations of his pursuing rivals firmly in check. The Portuguese rider of the Monster Energy Honda Team managed to finish the longest special of the Ruta 40 in a very healthy third position on the day, conceding a mere four minutes to the second placed adversary in the overall standings. As a consequence, Paulo continues to lead the race with just one day to go, and has an advantage of almost three and a half minutes over the nearest rival. The Portuguese rider will now endeavour to maintain the gap at the head of the leader board in tomorrow’s final stage as the race concludes in San Juan.
Ricky Brabec climbed positions in the overall rankings with a fine ride in spite of the bitterly cold conditions that were far from the Californian’s liking. Brabec finished with the fourth best time of the day and tomorrow will seek to secure the fifth spot he currently occupies in the overall standings.
Tomorrow sees the final stage, which will be battle over very varied terrain taking in mountain track, sand filled river bed and high speed off-piste. The stage includes 200 kilometres of timed special out of a total 447-kilometre stage. The start will take place in Villa Union with the rally wrapping up in San Juan.