The Desafio Ruta 40 (Argentina), the first event in the Dakar Series 2015, finished yesterday at Villa Union after five testing stages over 2,825 kilometres, of which 1,540 km were special stages.
The general opinion is that the route was tough, with 56 of the 88 entrants making it to the finish after negotiating dry river beds, mountain paths and enormous dunes of soft sand at Fiambala… Navigation skills also played a major role, with experience and concentration making all the difference.
Team HRC’s Portuguese ace Paulo Goncalves has clinched overall victory in the Desafío Ruta 40. Goncalves and the other Honda CRF450 RALLY riders commanded the tough, lengthy and demanding rally throughout, winning four of the five stages.
It was a race with a lot of kilometres and a lot of navigation and riding. Even though Rick Hatswell, COO of Craftsman Collision was not able to complete all the stages of the race, it was a successful outing for Rick.
“I was able to test the bike in race conditions very similar to those that I will find in the next edition of the Dakar.”, says Rick. “It’s a bit frustrating that I injured my wrist but I know I’ll be giving it some throttle again on a bike very soon after I get rested up and back to Vancouver, BC.”
The Desafío Ruta 40 proved to be a worthy workbench to test out riders and continue to set up the machines which look likely to feature in the forthcoming Rally Dakar 2016.