Luciano Benavides has arrived in Europe ahead of his first official competition for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, the 2020 Andalucía Rally held in and around the town of Villamartin in the south of the Spain. Running from October 6 to 10, the event comprises a short Super Special Stage followed by four days of tough rally racing and will be Luciano’s first international rally competition since the Dakar Rally in January.
Signing to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing earlier in 2020, with the global pandemic affecting events all over the world, Luciano has had to wait longer than anticipated to make his first competitive outing on the Husqvarna FR 450 Rally. As it stands, the Andalucía Rally will be the team’s only race before the 2021 Dakar Rally, which takes place in Saudi Arabia next January.
Following technical and administrative checks, riders at the Andalucía Rally will first face a short, 10-kilometre Super Special Stage that will decide the start order for the first full day of racing on Thursday October 8. Three more days of looped specials will test competitors’ speed and navigation to the maximum before the event comes to a close on Saturday October 10. In total, riders will cover over 1,300 kilometres, 1,030 of which are timed special stages.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Pablo Quintanilla will not be competing at the Andalucía Rally due to undergoing further surgery on the leg he broke at the 2019 Dakar Rally. The Chilean rider hopes to be back at full fitness in time for the 2021 Dakar Rally.
Luciano Benavides: “It was a little difficult to travel to Europe but now that I’m here I can look forward and focus on the rally. I’m really excited to be racing again and my preparation has gone really well. The Andalucía Rally will be my debut race for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna so it’s great to be a part of the team and I look forward to an exciting future together. I’m a little nervous as I’ve not raced for a long time but as soon as we start, I’m sure that will go. I’m 100% fit and ready and this race will be a good test ahead of Dakar.”
Pela Renet – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Rally Team Manager: “The team is really looking forward to going racing again and we’re very lucky to have the Andalucía Rally after all the other cancellations this year. We’re really well prepared and feeling very confident ahead of the race here in Spain as well as for the Dakar next January. It has been very tricky to arrange for Luciano to travel over to Europe, but thankfully he is here now and ready for the race. Unfortunately, Pablo cannot be with us due to the recent surgery he had on his leg – hopefully with a little extra time to heal he will be fully fit for Dakar. Nobody knows exactly what to expect here in Andalucía, but the team will give 100% as always.”