Quintanilla, Champion of Atacama

Paulo Goncalves was victorious in the final 100km stage
Paulo Goncalves was victorious in the final 100km stage

Pablo Quintanilla won his third stage of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship following victory at the Atacama Rally.                    

Story by Hayden Gregory                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Paulo Goncalves was victorious in the final 100km stage
Paulo Goncalves was victorious in the final 100km stage

The KTM rider finished the final stage in third place but managed to retain his overall lead to secure victory by a narrow 49 seconds over teammate Mathias Walker. In a dominant display the KTM team claimed the top five positions overall with Sam Sunderland rounding out the podium followed by Jordi Viladoms in fourth and Daniel Gouet in fifth.

Team HRC provided some shining light through the performance of Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves. Following a delayed start Goncalves led a blistering pace to take control of the 100km special stage.

The rider had a very consistent rally and would have been a serious contender to break up the all KTM podium if it were not for an opening day mishap.

Today was a great special stage.” Goncalves said. “I started out very focused on attacking. I wanted to win the special and regain some of the positions in the overall rankings.

“I finished sixth and I won another stage. I’m pleased with the work and with Team HRC’s performance.”

Australian rider Toby Price regrouped from a disastrous opening day to finish the rally in 10th place overall. Toby took to Facebook to share his mixed emotions,

“Disappointed in the overall result at the AtacamaRally but it’s good to clock up some more miles!”

“I finished the final day in 4th and 10th overall so I can’t complain, Bring on Morocco!

“Thanks to all the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Rally team for making me feel at home and having a great time even after my big mistake.”

The final round of the FIM World Cross Countries Rally Championship is the OilLibya Rally in Morocco on 3-10 October.

1. QUINTANILLA Pablo – CHI KTM Warsaw Rally Team 11:07’34
2. WALKNER Mathias – AUT KTM Red Bull Rally Factory + 0’49
3. SUNDERLAND Sam – GBR KTM Red Bull Rally Factory + 3’14
4. VILADOMS Jordi – SPA KTM Red Bull Rally Factory + 21’28
5. GOUET Daniel – CHI KTM + 37’48
6. GONCALVES Paulo – POR Team HRC + 53’02
7. PROHENS Felipe – CHI Team Hermanos Prohens + 1:06’14
8. ISRAEL Jeremias – CHI Team HRC + 1:33’52
9. ALBALOOSHI Mohammed – UAE KTM UAC + 1:36’30
10. PRICE Toby – AUS KTM AUS Rally Factory + 1:46’18

Damien Ashenhurst
About Damien Ashenhurst 1721 Articles
Managing Editor of DIRT ACTION magazine. Damo doesn't like cheese or ISIS. Can often be found riding in mud because it's closest to the natural environment of a squid.