Octubre fue un mes prolífico en triunfos para los Pérez Companc. La familia de millonarios y propietarios de la colección de autos más importante de la Argentina se quedaron con el premio mayor de Autoclásica 2023 (ver nota) y Jorge Pérez Companc ganó el Badawi Trail, que el rally de autos históricos más exclusivo de Arabia Saudita.

El empresario vitivinícola, ex piloto de rally e hijo mayor de "Goyo" y "Munchi" logró el triunfo al volante de un Chevrolet Master Coupe (una clásica "cupecita" como la que corría los Grandes Premios del ACA), en compañía de su navegante histórico: José María Volta.

El Badawi Trail fue una prueba de resistencia para vehículos clásicos, que recorrió 7.500 kilómetros a lo largo de 17 días y por cuatro países de Medio Oriente, incluyendo el cruce completo de Arabia Saudita. En términos de caminos y exigencias estuvo a la altura de un Rally Dakar, aunque se trata de una prueba reservadas para vehículos históricos.

A diferencia del Dakar, al final de cada jornada los participantes fueron recibidos en hoteles de cinco (y hasta seis estrellas), con fiestas de agasajo al nivel de los participantes. Los momentos de relax al finalizar cada etapa incluyeron la visita a algunas de las mejores colecciones de autos de Medio Oriente (ver videos y galería de fotos acá abajo).

Jorge Pérez Companc declaró al bajarse del podio: "Fue un rally realmente difícil. Jose hizo un trabajo brillante con la navegación. El auto se comportó de manera grandiosa. Tuvimos muchos problemas con la temperatura y la caja de cambios, pero por suerte pudimos resolverlos. Aún no podemos creer que hayamos ganado".

El Badawi Trail combinó tramos cronometrados de regularidad con algunas pruebas especiales de velocidad, donde la exigencia se repartió en función del año y la cilindrada de cada vehículo.

Hay más información sobre el Badawi Trail en la galería de fotos, los videos y el comunicado de prensa, acá abajo.

Galería: Badawi Rally 2023 - Jorge Pérez Companc

VIDEO: Historia del Badawi Rally

VIDEO: Resumen del Badawi Rally 2023

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First ever Badawi Trail to the Last Oasis breaks new ground in Middle East

The Badawi Trail to the Last Oasis has reached its final destination, the cosmopolitan city of Dubai, 7500km since the start in Aqaba, Jordan 17 days ago. In that time four countries have been crossed, 23 regularities contested, 10 desert time controls conquered and 1 test driven, as well as a couple of rotations of the Jeddah Corniche Grand Prix circuit. There have been temperatures of 45 degrees, sand, rocks and even thunderstorms to deal with and despite, or perhaps in spite of that, of the 45 cars that began this journey, 43 have made the finish here in Dubai.

It has been a tremendous adventure, one that has had ups and downs for everyone and in the end, there can only be one winner. But before we delve into that particular detail there is the final day of rallying to discuss, as this was no processional finish, but a proper day on the tools, with 400 clicks to churn over on the trip, as well as two regularities and a final desert time control section to finish the competition with a flurry.

The first regularity wasn’t distinguished by great scenery, but there was the classic ‘long-way-around’ a triangle trick to catch out the unwary. It was also completed under grey sky, with rain threatening as we moved away from the first reg and onto the next, the heavens opened and the roads, so unused to such a heavy downpour, had rivers of water running across them, white with the flotsam and jetsam deposited on them. A long climb up Jebel Jais was the scene for the second regularity, and here a Chevy Chase was ensuing, with Tommy Dreelan and George Barrack chasing Jorge Perez Companc up the mountainside, in the battle for first place. Tommy and George needed a miracle to catch the Argentines, but there was always hope with the leading car’s gearbox problems, as it deposited oil behind it making the way to the top slippery for the car in second spot. There would be no breakdown though and no huge error, meaning that the positions of the top three remained the same.

Victory then goes to the Argentine pairing of Jorge Perez Companc and Jose Maria Volta, taking the win by over 6 minutes in the end. The feat is all the more impressive with the crew nursing the gearbox problem with the Chevrolet Master Coupe for the latter stages of the rally and finishing without second and fourth gear. Jorge had this to say, “It was a really difficult rally, Jose did a brilliant job on the navigation. The car was great, but we had a lot of problems with temperature and the gearbox, but we are here, and we cannot believe we have won.”

As mentioned, Tommy Dreelan and George Barrack finished in second, with Tommy’s brother Mike, alongside navigator Bob Pybus taking third place, a job made all the more difficult as they had also suffered almost catastrophic gearbox problems in the Lagonda.

In the classic category the winner has been all but written in stone for a good part of the event, with the win going to Filip Engelen and Ann Gillis, their second major endurance rally win in the past 12 months, after achieving first place during last Novembers Lima to Cape Horn rally. They have been untouchable on most days, amassing just 6:22 of penalty across the entire competition, winning by nearly 8 minutes and topping the leader board overall. Navigator Ann had this to say, “It was a fantastic rally, I really really loved it and I’m happy to be here”.

Behind them were sailors Peter and Lousie Morton in second place in the 1972 Rover P6, a car which looked more used to sedate UK roads of that period, but yet it proved to be a mirage, performing as well as the crew did in the desert.

Australians Bill and Kathy Gill finishing in third in their Mercedes Benz 350SLC putting in another superb performance across the Arabian Peninsula.

It has been a tremendous and ground-breaking rally, the first of its kind to pass through many of the countries in this part of the world, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as a place that until recent years has been largely off limits to Western tourism, let alone this sort of historic vehicle event. Through wonderful cooperation with local organisations and the associations of the countries themselves, it has happened. It even overcame the lawful boundaries over driving right-hand drive vehicles in the places that we have visited.

Of course, the competition has also been enjoyed by all involved. Like all events of this kind some are here to win and some just to achieve personal goals, getting to the end for many is achievement enough. A man who always relishes the competitive aspect of these rallies is HERO-ERA Competition Director and Clerk of the Course Guy Woodcock, and he had this to say about his experience of the event, “It was bloody marvellous! A few hiccups but that’s what you get when you are being pioneers. We played it safe in a few areas to get the job done, but I think there is lots more to come from this region on the next edition.”

This event is the last major shakedown for many entered into next year’s Peking to Paris Motor Challenge, none were perhaps keener to iron out final glitches than HERO-ERA Chairman Tomas de Vargas Machuca, competing on this event in his 1914 American LaFrance alongside Ben Cussons, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club. They have experienced plenty of difficulties over the past fortnight but made it to Dubai in the end and of their rally Tomas had this to say, “A great event. The team has done a super job putting this together, with the complexity of laying on this event format in the Arabian Peninsula for the first time. We have met the kindest people along the way, from Jordan, through Saudi and in the UAE and Oman. What really made the rally though was a fantastic group of participants, all of whom have been problem solvers rather than problem makers and proving that driving the impossible lives for another day.”

So, we reach the end. It will be strange for all of us waking tomorrow with no start time, no route card to have chipped and not having a plan for the day specified by the demands of the rally. We will go our separate ways, but in the knowledge that friendships have been made and renewed and that we will see each other in the future on adventures new. Our travelling band becomes a community all of its own on these events and there is a certain come down when it is all over. Time stretches out before us all at the beginning and at times it seems like the ride will never end, then all of a sudden it is over.

This evening we will celebrate and tomorrow we will say our goodbyes as we head back home to loved ones, but at some point, we will do this all over again.

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