It took him four editions to reach the highest step of the podium. Four editions on two different continents and in very different vehicles. After living his first Dakar on African soil back in 2001 and finishing at an excellent 22nd position, Reinaldo Varela returned to the rally ten years later and did it the hard way. The Brazilian was indeed in what was then called a Can-Am UTV and again reached the finish in Santiago at a good 57th position (3rd of the solo class), Reinaldo however had company for his third rally. Alongside his usual co-driver Gustavo Gugelmin, and in a far bigger Mitsubishi ASX, he however failed to reach the finish, quitting the race after 6 days. For his fourth Dakar, it was back to basics for the two-time winner of the Dos Sertoes Rally who also competed in the Baja 1000. Possibly inspired by the victory of his compatriot Leandro Torres in the Side by Side class, Varela took his Can Am Maverick, still with Gugelmin as his precious guide to victory. The goal now is to retain his title and continue the Brazilian domination of the new Dakar class, although this year the field of rivals will be even bigger. To do so, Varela will count on the expertise of the South Racing team.
“The 2018 Dakar was especially hard but we managed to win it in our side-by-side Can-Am Maverick X3. We had to take on all kinds of terrain, from the burning dunes of Peru to the snow in the altitude of Bolivia. We even managed to finish a stage in 14th spot of the car class. I can say that Brazil is now the world capital of the SxS category. Indeed after Leandro Torres and Lourival Roldan in 2017, we gave our country a second consecutive victory”.
MONSTER ENERGY CAN-AM
Reinaldo Varela has triumphed in Lima for the last stage of the Dakar 2019. The title holder has given up his crown with panache and beat Cristian Baumgart by 1’23. We now await the future winner of the 41st edition of the Dakar, Chaleco López, at the finishing line.
Reinaldo Varela is determined to shine on the last stage of the Dakar. The winner in 2018 is in the lead at WP2, 1’23 ahead of Cristian Baugmart. Chaleco Lopez is in control mode, 2’31 behind.
Reinaldo Varela has struggled throughout the 2019 Dakar, but the Can-Am driver proved he remains as fast as ever with a second stage win. The defending champion beat Gerard Farrés by three minutes, while overall leader "Chaleco" López raced conservatively to finish 11’26″ back.
Reinaldo Varela's lead in stage 9 has been whittled down to just a few seconds. The Brazilian went through CP1 23″ ahead of Gerard Farrés and 1′27″ ahead of "Chaleco" López.
Reinaldo Varela, the winner in 2018 and leader of the SxS general standings this morning, has been at a halt for more than half an hour after 97 km of the special. His nearest pursuer for the rally lead, Chaleco López, has reached WP2 in the lead, proving that there are surprises every day in this category!
The title holder in the SxS category managed to reach the finishing line and complete the entire stage route, one minute behind Rodrigo Moreno, with whom he is battling for the podium.
“It’s always a bit discouraging when a special is neutralised. But the dust was so thick that I couldn’t see a thing. It was very difficult, there was dust everywhere....
Reinaldo Varela continues to lead the special and now has a cushion of more than 10 minutes over Rodrigo Moreno. Sergey Karyakin has lost significant amounts of time and now lags behind the stage leader by 23’50. His position at the top of the general standings could be in danger.
Reinaldo Varela has set off like a bullet from a gun. The 2018 winner has already opened up a lead of 2’40 over general standings leader Sergey Karyakin after 100 km.
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