Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ervideira Rali TT: Let’s get dirty

A heavy storm hit the winery region of Reguengos de Monsaraz shortly before the start of the third race of the Portuguese CCR championship. Muddy terrain and many breakdowns forced many crews to retire from race. This year’s strongest starting field so far saw more than fifty competitors ready to fight in a sea of mud. The number of favorites increased with arrival of Nicolas Misslin (Mitsubishi Racing Lancer Turbo) and Leonid Novitskiy (BMW X3 CC) the recent winner of Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.

The first loser of the race was till then undefeated Campos. An electronic problem had been switching his engine into the safe mode and didn’t allow him to finish. On a short prologue some locals were faster than top drivers but most of them lost their positions in progress. Barbosa (Mitsubishi Racing Lancer Turbo) felt a chance to retrieve a win lost in a previous race. Surprisingly it was Rui Sousa (Isuzu D-Max Proto) who managed to set the fastest time in the half time of the race. Moniz da Maia (BMW X3 CC) improved his position notably but was still far from a leading position. Lino Carapeta (QT Wildcat 200) was on the twelfth position but his time was about to come.

Rui Sousa lost a turbo and dropped out not only from the fight for the first place but even from the race generally. Barbosa had been leading for more than 100 kilometers when whole pack of difficulties befell his car. Thirty kilometers to finish his originally 15-minute advantage was reduced to just three minutes on the second Nuno Mutos. Portuguese driver had been performing flawlessly with his production group Isuzu D-Max until the left rear tire decided to go on its own. Lino Carapeta fully utilized misfortunes of his rivals and surprisingly won the race. Barbosa thus lost second win in a row at the very end of the race. The third place went to Paulo Sousa (Mitsubishi Pajero) best placed Nissan was that of Ricardo Porém of the fourth place.

Photo: Manuel Cordeiro for

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