| 15/09/2012 | 0 Comments

41 teams has covered 1000km in four days immersed in the wilderness of one of the largest and the most beautiful countries in the world – this is the 25th Rally Cerapiò of Brazil.

Story and Photos by Agostino Andreozzi

Cerapiò is near to the Equator, in the Northeast region of Brazil, where the Rally Cerapiò-Piocerà took place for 25 years, each January. Its name derives from the union of the names of the two states it crosses (Cearà and Piauì) and from the track it covers each year.
The idea of ​​organizing this rally emerged in April 1987 from a chat between two friends: Ehrlich Cordao and Galdino Gabriel, both fans of enduro. Since 1997, beside bikes, 4×4 vehicles could also enter the rally, and  the event was validated by the Brazilian Automobile Federation (Confederacao Brasileira de Automobilismo, CBA), as the opening of the Brazilian Cross-Country Rally Championship of North-East.
The 41 participating teams were divided into four categories (Graduado Especial, Graduado, Tourism and Expedição) and fought for four long days, from the capital of Cearà, Fortaleza, to Teresina, capital of Piauì, on a 1000km track, characterized by a great variety of landscapes and terrain.
This year, Ehrlich Cordao planned a more challenging track which made the race even more difficult for pilots and required more precision from navigators. Adrenaline, passion and the enchanting landscapes did the rest, stirring up emotions in all participants.
The flag-off was at the Dragão do Mar Center of Art And Culture, Fortaleza. On the first day the undisputed star was the sand. Competitors covered 189km crossing the dunes of Cumbuco, continuing on the beach of Lagoinha and the town of Paraipaba, alternating paths from the hinterland to the coast of Cearà, characterized by the beauty of its wide beaches, by white sand dunes and by the natural pools formed during low tides and seasonal rainfall.
On the second day the rally convoy left the ocean beach and headed to almost 1000 meters above sea level, covering about 217km. The competitors crossed the mountain paths of Tururù and the large banana plantations between Uruberetama and Itapipoca, arriving in the evening in the city of Sobral, a Brazilian cultural heritage site.
Starting in the shadow of the Arch of Triumph of Sobral, on the third day of the race, the participants ran against the inhospitable and famous Brazilian Sertão, an arid and semi-desert area consisting of lowlands and plateaus, where the uneven ground, heat and dust reduced visibility to almost nil. Vultures, cactuses and the typical caatinga plants flanked the route until the convoy reached the cities of Aprazivel and Mucambo. The second part of the day was made easier by less scorching temperatures and the beautiful landscapes of the Ibiapaba Mountain Range where cars climbed 800 meters above sea level, crossing the border of Cearà and entering the Piauì through the town of Bananeira. After 270km and more than 7 hours of racing, teams enjoyed a well earned rest in the charming mountain town of Pedro II.
On the final day of the race, we started from Pedro II to the final destination of Teresina, capital of Piauì. This was, of course, the most technical part of the rally, with brain-teaser paths for navigators: good performance was essential to gather valuable scores and to decide the winners. After the first stage in Campo Maior, in fact, competitors faced the perils of the paths between countless Carnauba palms, until the village of Altos where curves, junctions and dusty dirt roads proved to be challenge for even the most experienced navigators. Doing 270 km/h on the speedometer, after about 8 hours of racing, competitors reached the winning post at Estaiada Bridge, Teresina, where the award ceremony took place.
The team with Fortaleza pilot Jose Augusto Sà Neto and navigator Paulo Alcantara Goncalves, driving their Troller T4, finished first in the category of the most experienced teams ‘Graduado Especial’ with 112 points. Second place, scoring 107 points, went to pilot Marcelo Mendes and navigator Breno Rezende of Juiz de Fora – Minas Gerais, with a Mitsubishi Pajero. With 103 points, pilot Maycon Gomes Soares and navigator Daniel Rocha Rodrigues of Teresina finished third with a Troller T4.
With 108 points, pilot Manoel Gomes de Souza of Macapà (capital of the state of Amapa) and navigator Weidner Moreira of Juiz de Fora, won the first place in the ‘Graduado’ category. Pilot Jefferson Costa Oliveira and navigator Braulio Ferreira da Silva of Juiz de Fora placed second with 91 total points. Third place was awarded to pilot Marcelo Jucà and navigator Bruno Calixto of Juiz de Fora, with the final score of 80 points. The first two teams competed with a Troller T4 and the third with a Mitsubishi Pajero.
The ‘Touring’ category trophy went to Luciano Almeida and Fabiana Petrocelli of Brasilia – Distrito Federal. They drove a Troller T4.
Three teams of Teresina won the ‘Expedição’ category: pilot Edmar Rodrigues Jr and navigator Naiara Evangelista placed first with their Mitsubishi Pajero; pilot Alberto Petrucio Diogo Lira and navigator Caio Lisand Lima Diogo finished second with a Toyota Bandeirantes and third place was gained by pilot Roy Roges Barros Oliveira and navigator Carlos Eduardo Sousa Costa with a Mitsubishi Pajero.
The next Rally will start in Teresina on January 20 and will end in Fortaleza on January 25 of 2013. More informations: www.cerapio.com.br or www.agostinoandreozzi.com

Five of the ten participating teams who finished first competed with a Troller T4, a 4x4 vehicle all made in Brazil. Troller T4 is fitted with 2968cc 4 cylinder common-rail diesel engine with turbocharger and intercooler, its maximum output is 163hp. The 3945mm long, 1872mm wide and 1953 mm high vehicle features composite armored body. Designed in 1994, Troller T4 was popular among rally pilots, and the vehicle was perfected and commercialized in 1997 by Troller Veículos Especiais S.A., establishing its production site in the city of Horizonte, Cearà. In 2000 the race car has proven successful at international races like the Paris-Dakar rally where it finished fourth in its category, piloted by Arnoldo Junior and navigator Gabriel Galdino. In 2001 Troller T4 won the Cross Country Rally World Championship and was placed second at the Paris-Dakar rally. In the following years it gained several victories in Brazilian rallies and in some national championships. Since 2003 a special race, the Troller Cup has been dedicated to the Troller T4. In 2007 Ford Motor Company Brasil LTDA acquired the manufacturing company, so Troller T4 could be introduced to the international market by 2013.

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Category: SPORT

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