Tense Finale at Desafío Ruta 40 as Championship Battles Intensify

    The fifth and final stage of the Desafío Ruta 40 event provided both clarity and complexities in the ongoing World Rally-Raid Championship. While some class titles have been decided, the points battles have only tightened in other categories.

    The Ultimate class saw a particularly intense showdown, with Yazeed Al-Rajhi entering the stage leading Nasser Al-Attiyah by just 13 seconds in the overall FIA standings. Despite Al-Attiyah being the fastest car for much of Friday’s stage, Al-Rajhi managed to eke out a 27-second stage victory, finishing 40 seconds ahead of his rival. Al-Attiyah maintains the points lead, but the gap has narrowed significantly.

    In the Challenger class, Rokas Baciuška’s dominant performance throughout the rally was not quite enough to secure the overall title. After racing conservatively on the final day to protect his car, Baciuška ended the Desafío Ruta 40 with three stage wins, but Nicolás Cavigliasso still has a mathematical chance of snatching the championship.

    Sebastián Guayasamín, the highest-ranking SSV driver in the race, struggled to capitalize on points leader Yasir Seaidan’s early exit. However, Guayasamín ended the event with a stage victory, though it was not enough to overtake Ricardo Ramilo for the overall win. He did, however, edge out Rebecca Busi for second place by a mere 5 seconds.

    In the bike category, Tosha Schareina won the fifth stage by 1:12 over Ricky Brabec, but he still needed to make up a 1:27 deficit to beat his Honda teammate for the outright victory. A similar scenario unfolded in Rally2, where Bradley Cox won the stage but finished 6:31 behind overall winner Romain Dumontier.

    The one clear-cut champion emerging from the Desafío Ruta 40 was Manuel Andújar, who secured the Quad class title a race early with a dominant performance. Andújar wrapped up his home rally by beating Giuliano Giordana for the stage win by 7 minutes.

    As the World Rally-Raid Championship heads towards its conclusion, the intense battles in the Ultimate, Challenger, and SSV classes promise to keep fans on the edge of their seats. The Dakar Rally-Raid News team will continue to provide comprehensive coverage of this thrilling motorsport series.

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