Francisco “Chaleco” López will be making his first foray into an international cross country rally race, in the Side by Side or UTV category. Our RallyMobil driver (Can Am – Copec – Cooper Tires – Red Bull) will face the “Desafío Inca” Dakar Series (Inca challenge) 2018, to be disputed from Thursday, September 13 through Sunday, September 16, at the Ica Desert, Peru, where 91 vehicles will participate, 32 of which are cars, in a one thousand km tour.
The competition will have many of the main rally drivers, referents in this field, such as “Monsieur Dakar”, French Stephane Peterhansel, who will race at the UTV category together with his wife Andrea Meyer, on a Yamaha YXZ.
“For me, it will be a trial race, because it’s the first on a UTV after ten months. I’ll compete next to co-driver Jorge Resk, who is a desert connoisseur and an expert in this vehicle’s mechanics,” Chaleco López pointed out, a few hours before boarding the plane heading to Peru.
“It will be an interesting race at the dunes on this kind of vehicle. I feel like experimenting on the desert, a little more than three months away from Dakar 2019 in Peru, where I’m already on the entry list.” said Francisco, who will drive a Can Am Maverick X3 turbo.
The Opening Ceremony is set for Thursday 13 at 5 pm in Huacachina, to continue on Friday 14, Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 through Ica Desert.
“The strategy is based on getting to know the vehicle on the first day. To not damage the motor belt or anything. The second day I aim to feel more confident so I can try to get among the ten first. Besides, we’re carrying several tires to test the different patterns, for the sole purpose of preparing ourselves for Dakar 2019,” expressed the Can Am-Copec-Cooper Tires-Red Bull representative.
Francisco “Chaleco” López returns to international battles after five years of absences at this kind of cross country rally contests; he was third in 2010 and 2013 on motorcycles. At the new Side by Side or UTV category, he hasn’t competed since November 2017, at a race in Copiapó, Chile, where he finished second, at the last round of the National Cross Country Rally.
Thursday, September 13
08:00 – 12:00 hrs: Technical and administrative inspections at Club Social de Ica
17:00 – 19:00 hrs: Start in Huacachina
Friday, September 14
07:00 – 18:00 hrs: Day 1 in Ica Desert
Saturday, September 15
07:00 – 18:00 hrs: Day 2 in Ica Desert
Sunday, September 16
07:00 – 14:00 hrs: Day 3 in Ica Desert
17:00 – 19:00 hrs: Podium in Huacachina