Pablo Quintanilla has posted the fastest time during the opening 14km-long Prologue at the Atacama Rally 2017. However, due to navigational issues that saw numerous riders unable to cross all waypoints, race organisers have cancelled the Prologue and eliminated any time differences between competitors going into Monday morning’s stage one. The first 15 fastest riders from the Prologue are however able to select their starting position for stage one.
Stage one of the Atacama Rally 2017 will see competitors race a circular route around the city of Copiapó. Including 226km of timed special in the dunes of northern Chile the stage is expected to be a great test of the riders’ navigational skills and stamina.
Pablo Quintanilla: “I am really happy to be back racing again. I love the feeling of being strong on the bike and today went really well for me. It was a very tricky Prologue, despite the course being so short. Navigation was still difficult, so I took my time and tried my best to focus on not making any mistakes. Thankfully everything went well and I am happy with my result. I have a good starting position for tomorrow so if I remain focused then I am confident of a good result.”
Pela Renet: “Despite being short, today’s Prologue was difficult. Navigation was tough and you had to pay a lot of attention not to miss some waypoints in the deep sandy dunes. The rain that has been falling during the last couple of days has changed a few parts of the tracks so you needed to be extra careful not to make mistakes. This has just been the start of the rally and I’m looking forward to stage one tomorrow.”