The Atacama Rally heads north in Chile with a lightning-paced Kevin Benavides taking the triumph in the second stage. Paulo posted sixth spot.

The Atacama Rally left Copiapó bound for the north in a second stage affected by an accident involving French rider Pela Renet who had to be airlifted to safety by helicopter. For safety reasons the special stage was shortened to the neutralization zone, where the fastest competitor at that point had been Monster Energy Honda Team rider Kevin Benavides. The Argentinean rider thus reduces the gap with overall leader Quintanilla to just seven seconds.

Paulo Gonçalves, who set off sixth after receiving a somewhat dubious penalization, also finished the day in sixth place as well as occupying the same place in the general standings.

  • This second stage of the Atacama Rally linked the towns of Copiapó and Tal Tal, more than three hundred kilometres away in the north of Chile on the Pacific coast.
  • There were 308 kilometres of special timed stage in which the pilots encountered a variety of terrain types, predominantly fast track, but with some dunes earlier in the day.
  • The start was delayed an hour and a half by the appearance of the camanchaca, the early morning mist typical in these regions.
  • Due to the accident of Pela Renet, only the first part of the special was completed, until the neutralization section at kilometre 164.
  • Tomorrow the Atacama Rally will pass its half-way point: the third stage will take the riders from Tal Tal to another coastal area: Mejillones. It will feature some 349 kilometres of timed special before arriving at the check point in La Negra.

Paulo Goncalves

STAGE: 6th OVERALL: 6th

Today the stage was cut in half, but we had a quite interesting first part of 170 kilometres with some navigation and broken tracks, with quite a lot of stones. I lost two minutes to the winner, but I'm still in there, not far off. I'll try to do it right and do the best I can each day and see if the penalty was really a roadbook error. Let's keep moving on.

Kevin Benavides

STAGE: 1st OVERALL: 2nd

I felt really good today. I kept a good pace throughout the stage. At first, with sand, valleys and navigation until kilometre 70. Then, there were faster tracks. The idea today was to get a good position, maybe it was not the best thing to do to win, but I'm glad I got this victory. There are three days ahead and we are going to challenge the mathematics of it and keep up a good rhythm until Iquique. It’s a pity for Pela, I wish him a speedy recovery and a return to the track as soon as possible.

2017 Cross-Country Rallies
Stage Round FIM-3 , 2   Chile

Stage 2 Results

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Benavides Kevin ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 1:39'25
2 Sunderland Sam GBR KTM Factory Racing Team KTM +0'17
3 Caimi Franco ARG Yamaha Motor Europe Yamaha +0'38
4 Quintanilla Pablo CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +1'03
5 de Soultrait Xavier FRA Yamaha Motor Europe Yamaha +1'39
6 Goncalves Paulo POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +2'11
7 Walkner Matthias AUT KTM Factory Racing Team KTM +2'28
8 Van Beveren Adrien FRA Yamaha Motor Europe Yamaha +4'20
9 Cornejo José Ignacio 'Nacho' CHI Cornejo Rally Team KTM 7'58
10 De Gavardo Tomás CHI De Gavardo Team KTM +27'17
2017 Cross-Country Rallies
Stage Round FIM-3 , 2   Chile

Provisional Standings after Stage 2

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Quintanilla Pablo CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna 4:03'40
2 Benavides Kevin ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +0'07
3 de Soultrait Xavier FRA Yamaha Motor Europe Yamaha +3'54
4 Caimi Franco ARG Yamaha Motor Europe Yamaha +6'12
5 Sunderland Sam GBR KTM Factory Racing Team KTM +6'15
6 Goncalves Paulo POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +8'43
7 Walkner Matthias AUT KTM Factory Racing Team KTM +11'36
8 Van Beveren Adrien FRA Yamaha Motor Europe Yamaha +13'27
9 Cornejo José Ignacio 'Nacho' CHI Cornejo Rally Team KTM +17'28
10 Gouet Daniel CHI Motorola KTM +1:24'11
Location Information

This is your invitation to live the Atacama Rally 2017, Third Round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship and meeting of the CODASUR-FIA South American Cross-Country Rally Championship. The Atacama 2017 will be unique, traversing the immensity of the Atacama Desert, from the heart of the dunes in Copiapó City… read more.

Copiapó, Chile - View in Google Maps