STORY (10) - RONALD KÜPFER: MY BEST CAREER

The national rallies in Chile took on another dimension starting in the 2000 season, when the championship was officially called RallyMobil.

The calendar of the new century was made up of seven events, of which the fifth was the Rally of Temuco, from September 28 to 30. The landscapes of La Araucanía had already begun to be dressed in spring colors. By then, Group N turbo and all-wheel drive cars were at their peak.

Ronald Küpfer was 43 years old and one fine day, he was attracted to this automobile specialty. Although he did not have a greater background or had trained so much, the Swiss surname from Santiago and his friend Gabriel Benoit embarked on the adventure of rallying. They will have had some innate condition, since in a short time they appeared fighting for peak times.

Both were enjoying what they were doing, especially the sensations offered by their Subaru Impreza WRX of the N4 class, the largest at that time. Until then, José Celsi had won Viña del Mar, La Serena and San Felipe and Rolando Biénzobas in Concepción.

Küpfer was advised to start Temuco with someone of some experience in the right seat, so he signed up with Carlos Peña. The outcome would be unexpected for both of them, due to the positive outcome. The same rider evokes it like this: “When we started at RallyMobil, we didn't have a fraction of the experience of our rivals. We did it without asking much, driven by interest with my friend Gabriel. We were in the final part of the season when I was suggested to run through the fast Araucanian sections in the company of someone who knew them more than we did. During the first competitions, we had more than a scare because the car was going strong, particularly in relation to how little we had competed. Some night I fell asleep for those reasons. In May, I was able to get on the podium by being third in Viña del Mar, so I wanted something more. I was motivated already in the morning of the first stage and our opponents were disoriented with the good pace we achieved. More than one felt pressured and there were exits from the road and some overturn. Luckily, I was able to stay on top of the rally. On Sunday, practically not even in the team could we believe how brilliant everything was coming out. In the end, we celebrated the first triumph there, which is always remembered in a pleasant way, without a doubt. That was my best race, because of the way it went. I would say that the choice is almost tied with our world debut in Argentina the following year (2001), due to the traditional nature of its itinerary in the Sierras de Córdoba, the fervor of such a large audience and the opportunity to participate at the highest international level. We retired after hitting a hill at the exit of one of the many fords in the Calamuchita area, while we were learning the test in the second stage. Maybe that's why I thought of Temuco first. And because it was a wonderful weekend ”.

Ronald Küpfer stayed a short time in the activity, until 2003 in a pair with Sebastián Vera, but in his own words he admits that his time at RallyMobil is the one that offered him an important part of the most exciting experiences he remembers.