Tom Rosa, champion of the 2011 Sertões International Rally
Foto: David Santos Jr.
He has to control two more wheels than the motorbike riders, but they don’t have all the power and safety of a car. This the way that Carlos Lua, the Sertões International Rally press advisor, defined the job of the quad riders, during the press conference of the competition that ended today.
The class was won by Tom Rosa, with an accumulate time of 39h59min13. “This year, the test was more difficult than last year’s that I also participated in”, said Tom, who also pointed out navigation as being a key point. “In a Sertões Rally, it is very important for you to get to the end with a good advantage over your competitors”.
And Tom did very well with the Road book: the second place, Leonardo Vieira Franco, completed the test in a little over 3 hours more than the champion: 43h27min3. “When I left home, my plan was: I want to go, ride the 10 days and comeback without getting hurt”, he told the press. “To be the vice to Tom Rosa, who is an icon in the quads, is a pleasure. I am very happy with the second place”.
Leo, on his debut, also said that he decided to participate in the race when he saw the start of the rally in 2010, in Goiânia (GO). “I think that this [racing in the Sertões] is the dream of every jeep, motorbike and quad rider. And I programmed myself to get here today”. José Demontier Moura came in third place with an accumulated time of 43h45min2.
Lessons, training and Dakar
“What I learnt this year is that it’s no use accelerating like a madman in the rally. You have to have a strategy”, said Leonardo.
And Tom agreed. “It really isn’t just accelerating, as Leo said. There are many things that happen during a test. On the third day, I hurt my hand. It wasn’t the hand I accelerate with. It was the one for the clutch. But thank God, I made it to the end.”
The champion, who is from the state of Ceará, also told us that he trained for the competition on the weekends and holidays, and that for the first time ever, he went to a gym to improve his physical form. “I got to the end of every stage very tired”.
And when the press advisor asked the two of them if they plan to go to the Dakar, the answer was the same: they do think about it, but they need a sponsor. “But, God willing, the Sertões International Rally will open the doors to this”, Tom added.
Andrei Spinassé collaborated straight from Caucaia (CE)