Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Luciano Benavides has posted the second quickest time on stage one of the 2023 Desafio Ruta 40 rally. Riding his home event, the Argentinian completed the 333-kilometre timed special stage just 17 seconds down on the provisional leader.
Following on from his second place in the rally’s short opening prologue, where he completed the nine-kilometer special just one second from the win, Benavides carried his speed into stage one to finish as runner-up after over three hours of racing. In the overall classification, Luciano lies just one second off the lead of the event.
Benavides will now have the task of being one of the first to enter Tuesday’s stage two, which is promised to challenge riders with far more technical navigation than on today’s relatively straightforward WRC-style tracks. However, with days two, three, and four offering time bonuses for the first three riders to lead out each stage, the start position could fall in Luciano’s favour.
Luciano Benavides: “It’s been a really long stage actually. At the beginning, we started out through some riverbeds and then after that there was a lot of pistes, so it was very fast and very slippery. We destroyed the tyres today and thankfully it didn’t cost me as much time as some other riders. There wasn’t too much navigation today, so I just kept my head down and stayed safe. It all went well, I got second place, and now I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
2023 Desafio Ruta 40 – Stage 1 Provisional Classification
1. Tosha Schareina (Honda) 3:00:12
2. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 3:00:29
3. Adrien Van Beveren (Honda) 3:01:45
4. Toby Price (KTM) 3:03:29
5. Ross Branch (Hero) 3:03:38
6. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 3:06:52
2023 Desafio Ruta 40 – Provisional Overall Classification [After Stage 1]
1. Tosha Schareina (Honda) 3:55:00
2. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 3:55:01
3. Adrien Van Beveren (Honda) 3:56:09
4. Toby Price (KTM) 3:58:17
5. Ross Branch (Hero) 4:01:32
6. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 4:02:32