Team HRC is fully-booked over the next few days. While Joan Barreda and Michael Metge have been taking part and dominate the ‘Vegas to Reno’ race in the United States, the rest of the team – Paulo Gonçalves, Ricky Brabec and Kevin Benavides – are competing in Chile at the Atacama Rally, the penultimate date of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.
The preparations for the 2017 Dakar Rally continue for Team HRC after the successes achieved in the recent Merzouga Rally, the Desafío Ruta 40 and Baja Aragón, which saw the official Honda factory riders grab top honours in all of these events.
For the Atacama Rally, Team HRC line up Portuguese stalwart Paulo Gonçalves, alongside young guns American Ricky Brabec and Argentinean Kevin Benavides, who get to savour the demands of the Chilean desert once more. This should provide Gonçalves with a useful opportunity to clock up more mileage after a sound performance in the Desafío Ruta 40. Ricky Brabec will get his first chance to ride the Chilean rally, which will offer the young American ample possibilities to improve navigation skills. Argentinean rider Kevin Benavides goes in search of more silverware after wins in the Merzouga Rally, Ruta 40 and the third round of the Argentinean Cross Country championship: the La Cumbre Rally.
Argentinian rider Franco Caimi is racing in the Atacama Rally with Honda South America Team on a CRF 450 RALLY bike after demonstrating his rally capabilities in the last Desafío Ruta 40.
Over the coming week, the three riders from Team HRC and the Honda CRF450 RALLY will battle it out in the northern area of the South American country, in the driest desert in the world. The Atacama Rally, with a total of 1800 kilometres, features a high percentage of timed special stages and some high-profile participants.
Once the administrative and technical checks are passed, Team HRC get down to business with a prologue on the outskirts of Antofagasta, the fifth biggest city in the country. The first stage gets underway on Tuesday with a loop starting and finishing in Antofagasta. The Atacama Rally will wrap up in the heart of the Atacama Desert in Copiapó on 27th August.
ATACAMA RALLY 2016
|24/8||Stage 2||Antofagasta-Bahía Inglesa||400|
|25/8||Stage 3||Bahía Inglesa-Bahía Inglesa||205|
|26/8||Stage 4||Bahía Inglesa -Bahía Inglesa||370|
|27/8||Stage 5||Bahía Inglesa-Copiapó||104|
The 2019 edition of the Atacama Rally will offer its competitors a high-level sports rally, challenging the incredible dunes of the Atacama Desert. An open challenge for all and especially for those competing for the third round of the FIM Cross-Country World Rally Championship in the category of motorcycles and… read more.
Copiapó, Chile - View in Google Maps