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Ernesto Jochamowitz and Gustavo Medina snatched a dramatic victory in the 37th Caminos del Inca 2007 (Inca’s Rally) after long-time leaders Ricardo  Dasso and Michael Baca suffered fuel pump problems on the second stage of the final leg between Arequipa and Lima on Sunday.

The Mitsubishi Outlander driver secured his third Caminos del Inca title on the final special stage after taking the overall lead for the first time on the  tarmac stage between Nasca and Ica. The Peruvian also won the event at the wheel of a Ford Escort in 1998 and 1999.

“I could not believe it when I saw that Ricardo had problems,” said winner Jochamovitz. “We are good friends, but I was pushing hard to win. The rally was  more difficult than in the past. The competition was tougher. There were several people who could have won. I think the event has a great future. I spoke  to Juha (Kankkunen) about the event. He suggested we take out some of the straights in the next races and place a little more emphasis on security and  we will have a superb event.”

Ronmel Palomino hung on grimly to third position in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, as a flying Juha Kankkunen leapt up the leaderboard on the final day  from seventh to fourth place in his Team Cataneo-prepared Subaru Impreza WRX.

“It was a good way to end the event with three fastest times,” said Kankkunen. “But the damage was done several days ago. We climbed back as high as  we could. It was a very varied event. The stages were so different in character. It was an enjoyable challenge, but I did not have the right car to win.”

Sandstorms and shifting dunes had been prevalent in the area the previous day – a far cry from the high altitude stages earlier in the week – but they  failed to stop Kankkunen taking a scintillating fastest time of 3h 01m 21s, as he launched himself from seventh into fourth overall in one fell swoop.

Dasso set the third fastest time, but he crucially edged a further 1m 17s ahead of Jochamovitz heading into the final two short stages.

Caminos del Inca 2007 – final unofficial positions

1. Ernesto Jochamowitz (PE)/Gustavo Medina (PE) Mitsubishi Outlander; 

2. Ricardo Dasso (PE)/Michael Baca (PE) Subaru Impreza WRX;

3. Ronmel Palomino (PE)/Wilman Palomino (PE) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII;

4. Juha Kankkunen (FIN)/Seppo Harjanne (FIN) Subaru Impreza WRX;

5. Luis Alayza de Losada (PE)/Ive Bromberg (PE) Subaru Forester WRX.              

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