Without much difficulty, Rafał Sonik finished the fourth stage of the Atacama Rally and kept his third place in the general classification. „Those who know me know that I tend to be cautious, so let’s not count the chickens before they’re hatched. I do admit though, that a place on the podium would be the best sports comeback I could dream of”, shared Sonik a day before the end of the rally.
Since the very beginning of the Atacama Rally, not a single day had passed without an incident on the road. Friday was similar. Soon after the start of the stage, a Dakar winner, Sam Sunderland, joined the rally, only to hit a large rock and break his foot bone. „When even the most acclaimed racers, like Joan Barreda or Sam Sunderland, have accidents, it becomes clear we are not cruising down the highways here,” commented Rafał Sonik, who had been particularly careful throughout the competition.
Rafał Sonik started around an hour after the famous racer, whose trouble made the Polish contestant extra alert. Consequently, he stuck to the strategy he had established previously. „Two Argentinians in front have been engaged in a fight with each other, and Italo Pedemonte just tears along, making up for the lost time. It’s a very risky tactic. Naturally, I would like to go faster, but 10 years of participating in international rallies have taught me patience,” said the Pole.
Just like the day before, „SuperSonik” was fourth at the finish line of the special stage and kept his third general position. „I wouldn’t dare to dream of standing on the podium in Chile, so now, my main priority is no to lose my position! It would surely be a welcomed reward for the seven months of hard work and monotonous rehabilitation process,” he added.
There is only a 155-kilometer long stretch of the last special stage planned on Saturday. The award ceremony will take place in the evening of the same day, in the center of Copiapó.
Stage 4 results:
1. Nicolas Cavigliasso (ARG) 3:32.53
2. Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli (ARG) +0.22
3. Italo Pedemonte (CHL) +19.51
4. Rafał Sonik (POL) +38.01
1. Nicolas Cavigliasso (ARG) 15:57.13
2. Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli (ARG) +3.33
3. Rafał Sonik (POL) +1:29.49
4. Italo Pedemonte (CHL) +31:07.36