More than a hundred drivers have registered for the final stage of the unprecedented race in Portugal.
The Municipality of Vila Real de Santo António is hosting the Monte Gordo Sand Experience between November 17 and 19. It is the final stage of the first edition of the FIM Sand Races World Cup, which saw races in France and Argentina in its debut year.
More than a hundred drivers have registered for the unprecedented race in Portugal, which features the best drivers in the world in their field and several Portuguese champions.
The new competition is disputed under the auspices of the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) and the Portuguese Motorcycling Federation (FMP) and counts on the accredited sports organisation of the Automóvel Clube de Portugal team.
The three-day event will see the participation of motorcycling riders of eight different nationalities, with the foreigners in the majority: 76 on motorbikes (33 Portuguese) and 27 on quads (9 Portuguese).
The sandy beach of Monte Gordo is the setting chosen for this final journey, which will feature a unique circuit that runs over 5 km for the hour-and-a-half race for motorbikes and one hour for quads.
Among the highly rated foreign riders, the highlight on motorcycles is the leader and winner of the two races held in France and Argentina, Brit Todd Kellet, who, riding a Yamaha, will face the Belgian Yentel Martens on a Honda in the fight for the title.
From the Top 5 of the World Cup will be present Daymond Martens, also from Belgium and also on a Honda, and the Frenchman Camille Chapeliere on a KTM.
Among the quads, where the fight for the title promises to be tighter as the difference between the first two is shorter, the headliners are the Frenchmen Michel Trannin and Pablo Violet, the first on a Honda and the second on a Yamaha, who are currently separated by five scarce points.
In the Top 10 of this discipline, we find two Portuguese drivers based in France: Nuno Gonçalves and Paulo Fernandes, respectively 8th and 10th in the classification.
The Portuguese participation arouses enormous curiosity as none of the most prominent national pilots have previously participated in events of this nature.
Coming from motocross will be Paulo Alberto, who has been competing in Brazil since 2013 and has accumulated national titles in both Brazil and Portugal; Luís Outeiro, who was recently the Portuguese representative in the MXGP class at the Motocross of Nations; and André Sérgio, national vice-champion of Motocross MX1 and who was recently placed 2nd in the Baja Portalegre 500.
Coming from the Off-Road category are the absolute national motorcycle and quad champions António Maio and Luis Fernandes, both on a Yamaha and the Junior Moto champion João Duarte on a Honda.
The Monte Gordo Sand Experience also features female participation. Frenchwoman Mathilde Denis (Honda) and Belgian Amandine Verstappen (Yamaha) will compete in the motorcycles category, while Frenchwoman Nathanaelle Abgrall (Yamaha) will take part in the Quads category.
The Monte Gordo Sand Experience begins on November 17, with the reconnaissance walkthrough of the circuit on Monte Gordo Beach and administrative and technical checks at the Vila Real de Santo António sports centre.
The race starts on Saturday at 11h00 with a one-and-a-half hour motorcycle race for the M, MD and MJ2 classes and a 30/45 minute race for MJ1, CL1 and CL2 classes.
At 13h30, the one-hour competition for quads begins for the Q, QD and QJ classes.
On Sunday, at 12h00, the motorcycle race takes place, with the same duration for the different classes and at 14h30, the quad competition.
The prize-giving ceremony is scheduled for 16h30.