Results and video highlights from the fourth and penultimate stage of the 2023 Desafio Ruta 40, FIM World Rally-Raid Championship round where local hero Luciano Benavides has finally claimed a day win ahead of overall leader Tosha Schareina.

Stage four was dune day in the Desafio Ruta 40 as the special looped from Belen, through the Fiambalá sand and it was time for change up the top of the daily standings, much to the local fans favour although the fastest rider, Michael Docherty, would be classififed fourth after the time bonuses were handed out. 

Argentina has the luxury of two Benavides brothers racing at the highest level in the sport and youngest, Luciano, claimed his first stage win of the 2023 Desafio for Husqvarna Factory Racing, although the race lead is still in the hands of the Spaniard Tosha Schareina.


Benavides’ end to Schareina’s stage win streak wasn’t by much however, just 36 seconds in the end which means the HRC-supported rider remains in charge with one more day racing by 5:47.

Ricky Brabec made it two Hondas on the stage podium once again, with all three benefitting from time bonuses to leap frog the real stage winner, Michael Doherty (more on him below). The American finished 1:46 behind and maintains his third overall, six minutes clear of Ross Branch fourth with Adrien Van Beveren fifth.

In Rally2 class, Michael Docherty made a statement today (after problems earleir in the rally) by setting the fastest outright time. The South African was fastest of all on the ground by six seconds over Brabec but dropped back to P4 after the opening bonuses were awarded to Luciano, Tosha and Ricky.

Beating the world’s best on a stage is some cap to go home with though for a privateer, Rally2 rider.


Bradley Cox remains in command of Rally2 class overall by 28 minutes ahead of Konrad Dąbrowski (Duust Rally) and 39′14″ over Romain Dumontier (HT Rally Raid Husqvarna Racing), who knocked fellow Frenchman Jean-Loup Lepan (Duust Rally) from the provisional podium of the DR40.

2023 Desafio Ruta 40 – Stage 4 Top 10 Classification:

1. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 2:53:57

2. Tosha Schareina (Honda) 2:54:33

3. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 2:55:43

4. Michael Docherty (BAS KTM) 2:57:17

5. Toby Price (KTM) 2:58:37

6. Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 2:58:56

7. Ross Branch (Hero) 3:01:20

8. Adrien Van Beveren (Honda) 3:02:59

9. Nacho Cornejo (Honda) 3:05:16

10. D Llanos (XRaids Husqvarna) 3:06:57

Top 10 Overall Classification [after Stage 4]:

1. Tosha Schareina (Honda) 13:15:26

2. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 13:21:13

3. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 13:38:39

4. Ross Branch (Hero) 13:44:49

5. Adrien Van Beveren (Honda) 13:47:54

6. Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 13:53:19

7. Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 13:58:44

8. Bradley Cox (BAS KTM) 14:17:42

9. Toby Price (KTM) 14:41:17

10. Konrad Dabrowski (Duust KTM) 14:45:42

Stage 5 details:

The final stage will take the DR40 caravan due north to Salta again in previous Dakar rally territory with the special kicking off in the Santa María river. Competitors will have to stay alert in this mosaic of flat ríos packed with sand.

The second half heads for Quebrada de Las Flechas, a regional tourist attraction known for its canyons and will climb up to an altitude of 2,500 metres on WRC-style mountain tracks where the organisers predict the special could be decided.

More “jaw-dropping landscape” follows in Cuesta del Obispo and a 123km road section leading to Salta, the finish and the city where the Benavides brothers were born and also where the Dakar has landed three times.

Stage 5: Belén – Salta

·        Total: 563 km

·        Road sections: 305 km (182 + 123)

·        Special: 258 km


Photo Credit: Cin Cin Movies + A.S.O. Julien Delfosse