World Rally-Raid Championship

2023 Desafio Ruta 40: Mitch Guthrie assumes T3 points lead with second straight win

3 Mins read
Credit: Kin Marcin/Red Bull Content Pool

A week before heading to Argentina for the Desafío Ruta 40, Mitch Guthrie finished second to Red Bull team-mate Seth Quintero among UTVs at the Vegas to Reno. Two weeks after that night in Nevada, Guthrie was the one atop a UTV podium.

Trading in his V2R Polaris RZR for his World Rally-Raid Championship MCE-5 Taurus T3 Max, Guthrie scored two stage wins in the Desafío Ruta 40‘s T3 category but his reliability and consistency proved key to the overall victory. With the exception of a seventh in Stage #5 after racing conservatively, he finished on the podium in each of the first four legs and won the first and third, allowing him to retain the overall lead every day.

The win is Guthrie’s second straight after claiming the Sonora Rally in April.

“It was a great rally,” Guthrie stated. “We had our ups and downs for sure, but we kept it together all the way. We’re stoked with the overall win, that’s two in a row now. It was my first time racing here so we were learning a lot as we went.”

Mattias Ekström and Quintero provided the biggest challenges to Guthrie’s reign, the former also winning the Prologue and Stage #2, but were set back by mechanical failures. Ekström was knocked out of overall contention just a day after his stage win with a broken differential, while Quintero’s intercooler failed the following stage. Both still reached the finish, albeit in tenth and eleventh.

Their issues promoted Cristina Gutiérrez to second overall entering the final stage, though she trailed Guthrie by over twenty-two minutes. Gutiérrez was only able to slice six minutes from the margin.

Despite recording a podium finish in third, Austin Jones lost the T3 points lead to Guthrie. After trailing Jones by twenty points entering Argentina, Guthrie is now ahead by three while Quintero falls from second to third with nine points separating him and the new leader. Behind the Americans, Gutiérrez’s runner-up breaks a tie for fourth with Red Bull ally Francisco Lopéz Contardo.

João Ferreira won Stage #4, but was already in a hole after a gearbox problem plagued his Stage #1. A broken clutch ended his race on the last day.

Vehicle trouble also ruined an otherwise impressive T3 début for Nicolás Cavigliasso. The T4 regular and 2019 Dakar Rally quad champion, racing an MCE-5 car like Guthrie, finished second to Ekström in Stage #2 after leading at the final checkpoint only to be overtaken in the closing run. Cavigliasso was also leading Stage #4 before a mechanical issue dropped him to eighth.

T3 overall results

FinishOverall FinishNumberDriverCo-DriverTeamTimeMargin
15302Mitch GuthrieKellon WalchRed Bull Off-Road Junior Team16:22:31Leader
26303Cristina GutiérrezPablo Moreno HueteRed Bull Can-Am Factory Racing16:38:49+ 16:18
37300Austin JonesGustavo GugelminRed Bull Off-Road Junior Team16:50:14+ 27:43
48304Francisco Lopéz ContardoBruno JacomyRed Bull Can-Am Factory Racing16:56:18+ 33:47
59312Hernán Garcés*Juan Pablo LatrachSouth Racing Can-Am17:27:06+ 1:04:35
611310Juan Carlos Cerda*Álvaro LeónTerracop Rally18:16:50+ 1:54:19
713309Nicolás Cavigliasso*Valeria PertegariniWevers Sport19:42:39+ 3:20:08
815305João FerreiraManuel PoremX-raid Team33:25:49+ 17:03:18
916307Claude FournierSzymon GospodarczykBBR Motorsport35:13:33+ 18:51:02
1018306Mattias EkströmEmil BergkvistSouth Racing Can-Am36:54:44+ 20:32:13
1119301Seth QuinteroDennis ZenzRed Bull Off-Road Junior Team37:43:18+ 21:20:47
1220308David ZilleSebastian CesanaSouth Racing Can-Am37:49:24+ 21:26:53
1322313Oscar Santos Peralta*Loutival RoldanSantos Racing39:49:09+ 23:26:38
1424311Gabriel Rodríguez*Santiago de la VegaWevers Sport43:30:58+ 27:08:27
* – Not competing in World Rally-Raid Championship

T3 stage winners

PrologueMattias Ekström6:54
Stage #1Mitch Guthrie3:12:31
Stage #2Mattias Ekström3:45:39
Stage #3Mitch Guthrie3:13:12
Stage #4João Ferreira3:12:23
Stage #5Mattias Ekström2:42:21

Overall winners

T1200Nasser Al-AttiyahToyota Gazoo Racing15:10:03
T3302Mitch GuthrieRed Bull Off-Road Junior Team16:22:31
T4403Gustavo Gallego*South Racing Can-Am18:34:37
RallyGP68Tosha Schareina*Honda Team15:58:46
Rally221Bradley CoxBAS World KTM Racing Team17:01:01
Rally3122Ardit KurtajXraids Experience23:15:45
Quad152Manuel Andújar7240 Team19:24:30
Open Auto650Blas Zapag*Copetrol Rally23:06:34
Open T3670Jeremías Gonzalez Ferioli*Ferioli Racing Team17:34:31
Open T4678Juan José Semino*Xcorpion Rally Racing20:59:00
Open Moto608Rodrigo de Abreu Sallum*MED Racing Team22:36:24
Open Quad623Santiago Rostan*Pampa Rental Rally Team25:28:33
Road to Dakar Auto678Juan José Semino*Xcorpion Rally Racing20:59:00
Road to Dakar Moto69Juan Santiago Rostan*Pampa Rental Rally Team25:28:33

W2RC T3 standings

Drivers’ standings

1Mitch Guthrie174Leader
2Austin Jones171– 3
3Seth Quintero165– 9
4Cristina Gutiérrez110– 64
5Francisco Lopéz Contardo104– 70
6João Ferreira97– 77
7Mattias Ekström77– 97
8Claude Fournier55– 119
9David Zille54– 120
10Jean-Luc Ceccaldi41– 133
11Aliyyah Koloc34– 140
12Hélder Rogrigues22– 152
13Annett Quandt20– 154
14Dania Akeel15– 159
15Erik van Loon13– 161
Fernando Alvarez0– 174

Co-drivers’ standings

Some co-drivers have worked with drivers in other categories. Those do not count for this championship nor are they mentioned below.

1Kellon WalchMitch Guthrie174Leader
2Gustavo GugelminAustin Jones171– 3
3Dennis ZenzSeth Quintero165– 9
4Pablo Moreno HueteCristina Gutiérrez110– 64
5Juan Pablo LatrachFrancisco López Contardo78– 96
6Emil BergkvistMattias Ekström77– 97
7Filipe PalmeiroJoão Ferreira74– 100
8Sebastian CesanaDavid Zille54– 120
9Cédric DupléJean-Luc Ceccaldi50– 124
10Szymon GospodarczykClaude Fournier35– 139
11Stéphane DupleAliyyah Koloc34– 140
12Bruno JacomyHernán Garcés26– 148
13Manuel PoremJoão Ferreira23– 151
14Gonçalo ReisHélder Rodrigues22– 152
15Arnold BrucyClaude Fournier20– 154
16Sergio LafuenteDania Akeel, Diego Martinez15– 159
17Sébastien DelaunayErik van Loon13– 161
18Annie SeelAnnett Quandt11– 163
19Lisette BakkerAnnett Quandt9– 165
Xavier PanseriFernando Álvarez Castellano0– 174
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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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