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Meet the stage with no corners.  Paraguay’s Trans Chaco Rally has long been considered one of the most dramatic events in the sport.   

This year’s event, due to run at the end of September, is no exception.  It features a 74km stage, virtually all of which is along a straight road …   

Alejandro Galanti, the national championship Toyota Etios R5 driver, explained:

“In the Chaco the land is very flat.  Most roads are straight lines, in fact they are named ‘lines’, ie: Line 1, Line 40, etc. and you have North – South lines and East West lines.

“In fact, they are not perfectly straight.  There are small bends, mostly to avoid the big trees or other possible obstacles on the line.   And on this rally, obstacles are more important than corners.  Things like ruts, bumps, dry river crossing, tucas (big holes made by a little animal), fallen trees, etc.  

“Sometimes to avoid the obstacles you have to go around them, so that would form a couple of 1st or 2nd gear corners.  

“The challenge is being fast around these obstacles, as in normal rallying is being fast on corners.  This particular stage (SS14) is on the border line with Bolivia. Half the width of the road is in Paraguay and the other half is in Bolivia.”   

The first part of Stage 15 will then be run on an exactly parallel track, 500 metres away, the other side of a forest.  The surface is soft sand.  

As Galanti says: “The stage was used last year for the first time.  It can be soft, but that depends of how dry it is.  Currently it is not that bad. If it rains it will be a problem.”

- Martin Holmes 

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