3rd FIM Cross Country World Rally Championship—September 1 to 7, 2019
THE BEST RIDERS IN THE WORLD WILL COMPETE IN THE ATACAMA RALLY 2019
Competing for Chile are: Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna), who reappears after a severe injury, José Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) from Iquique, and the British Sam Sunderland (KTM) who is the current leader of the world championship.
SANTIAGO, July 31, 2019.- The best riders of the world in the Motorcycle category will meet in the tenth version of the Atacama Rally, third date of the World Cross Country Rally Championship. The event will be held in the Atacama region between the September 1-7, where the Autos and Side by Side series of Argentina, Colombia and Chile will be added, the latter for the National Championship.
The track will be 1,480 kilometers long. 1,200 km will include special dunes, valleys, mountains, dry rivers, trails and coastal areas running from south to north and from east to west through the most arid desert on the planet. The riders will be able to feel the rigorous sands while thinking about the new terrain that they will have to face in Dakar 2020 in Saudi Arabia.
Gerardo Fontaine, the general producer of the event commented, “We are very happy to host the World Cross Country Rally Championship for the fifth consecutive year in our country. The best riders in the world have already confirmed their participation and we hope together with the great grid that is being formed of national riders to have a first level rally in the Atacama region, especially in the city of ‘Tierra Amarilla’”.
As in 2018, the competition will be developed in the loup system, incorporating new desert sectors, where competitors will be able to test their full level and ability to overcome the Atacama desert.
Among the teams confirmed so far, the officers of KTM, Husqvarna and Honda stand out. The Orange Team will be headed by the leading ranking riders, the British Sam Sunderland; the leader of the Junior category, the Argentine Luciano Benavides, and the already known Toby Price (Australia) and Matthias Walkner (Austria).
Representing Husqvarna the Chilean Pablo Quintanilla will reappear, who was seriously injured in the past Dakar. Quintanilla will be accompanied by the American Andrew Short (second in the ranking). For Honda, the team is headed by the Iquiqueño Ignacio Cornejo, second in the Junior ranking and fifth in the general classification. Cornejo will be escorted by the winner of 2018, Kevin Benavides (Argentina), Joan Barreda (Spain), and Ricky Brabec (United States).
In the Car series, the following drivers stand out for the Chilean Championship: Luis Eguiguren, Sandro Peppi, Álvaro Chicharro and Hernán Garcés; Javier Vélez (Colombia), Gonzalo Virro (Argentina). More names are expected in the next few days in the attractive UTV and Side by Side series.
The big news in this new version will be stage three, considered as a Marathon, in which competitors must use their entire strategy to avoid mistakes and maintain their machines in the best way, since they will not have external assistance. In case of technical and mechanical problems, the competitors themselves must fix their machines.
In other news, the Atacama Rally organization confirmed that the Chilean test will be the first Cross Country Rally in the world to be part of the sustainability program of the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) known internationally as “KISS” (Keep it Shiny & Sustainable).
Under this commitment, the first edition of “Kiss Atacama” will be merged with the program “I look after the Desert” that Atacama Rally has been developing for 3 years. Its main objective is to clean the desert of the waste that people leave behind and generate awareness and education in the community.