Those 2 Hours of Buenos Aires Road Tourism

Between 1993 and 1996 the popular category held races with guest drivers at the Buenos Aires racetrack.

Toyota Hilux

El Road Tourism needed a different proposal to mobilize the Buenos Aires fan on his third visit from '93 to the Buenos Aires Autodrome Aires, which also corresponded to the eleventh date of that tournament. And the so-called 2 Hours with guest pilots they were so in theory and also in practice.

The triumph in this first edition was for the duo that formed Johnny debenedictis y Mariano calamente. For the one from Necochea the victory had a special flavor since he fulfilled the regulatory requirement that allowed him to remain as a candidate for the title. Perhaps that is why he thought about the teammate to choose and was not tempted by glittering names from other categories, but rather trusted the conditions and experience of the Balcarean.

Johnny DeBenedictis and Mariano Calamante, the winning duo in the first edition of the 2 Hours.
Johnny DeBenedictis and Mariano Calamante, the winning duo in the first edition of the 2 Hours.

El Pelado amply responded with a brilliant performance that led to a triumph strategically crafted from the excellent performance of the green Falcon. It was proven in the first half, when DeBenedictis put him second after starting tenth and put pressure on the leader Emilio Satriano. And in the second, when Calamante defined the race taking advantage of his experience on Guillermo Maldonado, guest of the Chivilcoy pilot.

After the experience of the previous year, in 1994 the second edition of the 2 Hours of Buenos Aires was held. This time his name was honored and they ran two hours in a row with a change of drivers in full competition. This undoubtedly added an extra spice to the test and also enabled the teams to perform different types of strategies.

That motivated the eyes to be on both the track and the Buenos Aires pits. There, the time spent by the members of each team to change the tires and refuel the cars, modified for and against any second furiously won on the track.

An effusive Ortelli celebrates his first triumph in the TC in 1994. He was the guest of Fabián Acuña.
An effusive Ortelli celebrates his first triumph in the TC in 1994. He was the guest of Fabián Acuña.

The binomial that did things the best was the one formed by the experienced Fabian Acuna and newcomer Guillermo Ortelli. Both, driving a green Falcon prepared by another pair of excellence: Tulio Crespi on the chassis and Oscar Catellano on the engines.

The one from Tandil drove in the first shift with an even performance and without demanding the tires, something that was fundamental. Is that when he entered the pits to pass the steering wheel to his guest it was decided not to change the tires and the seconds won with that decision were key. Ortelli also did a perfect job, which included overcoming Oscar Fineschi, guest of Walter Hernandez. After that maneuver, with which he jumped to first place in the race, he maintained a gait that allowed him to make his debut in the category with a win.

Of 1995 It was a special season as there were two races in a row with invited drivers. The first was the 200 Miles by Rafaela and the second, the third edition of the 2 Hours of Buenos Aires. In both the winning binomial was the same: the one formed by Juan Maria Traverso y Michelangelo Guerra.

Fight between Traverso and Satriano
The fight between Traverso and Satriano.

As in any endurance type race, the strategy was fundamental. More with a sports regulation that required two mandatory pit stops. The large number of people affected by the operation of changing tires and refueling ended up being a topic of discussion and even of some risk. But on the track everything was purple.

The race was started by Guerra, who quickly made a difference in first place. When Skinny got on the Chevy, things didn't change much. So much so that he had more than 20 seconds of advantage over the rest.

However, winning was not entirely easy as in the last part of the competition the intense pressure from Omar Martinez, who passed the lead in the 41st of 64 laps. The entrerriano, who raced with Fineschi as a guest, remained in the lead for six laps until Traverso regained the lead.

El Gurí tried to keep up with him, but his aspirations ended nine laps from the end when he ran out of gasoline. In this way, the one from Ramallo went straight to victory in a competition that ended a lap earlier due to the invasion of the public.

The area where the fuel was refilled.
The area where the fuel was refilled.

The crazy attitude of some fans was again a problem for the 2 Hours of Buenos Aires in 1996. Half an hour before the agreed time is up, several people dangerously placed themselves in the "S del Ciervo" and forced to stop the race with a red flag. That decision did nothing but inflame some spectators, who directly invaded the track en masse and even threw rocks and bottles at the pilots ...

It all happened when there was an hour and a half of competition and the mastery of the duo Emilio Satriano-Patricio Di Palma it was overwhelming. The one from Chivilcoy took the first turn and after starting from third place, on the sixth lap he was already leading the way with a Chevy whose main virtue was the power of its engine. At fifty minutes (28 laps completed), Satriano pitted to deliver the car to Di Palma.

El Pato lost two places, but immediately got into rhythm and returned to the forefront. The reef, who was in his third competition in the specialty, drove like an experienced man until chaos took hold on Sunday, which ended with more than 80 arrested.

This whole situation led to Road Tourism Corridors Association to take a drastic measure: no longer do this type of competition. That was the end of the 2 Hours ...

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Diego durruty

Journalist with 30 years of experience. Worked in magazines STROKE, The graphic, Coequipier y Only TC, on the Internet sites SportsYa!, e-driver.com y kmcero.com and on the radios Rock pop y Vorterix.com. He covered the Dakar rally for the German agency dpa. He currently drives Two Daring Guys, a car magazine that is broadcast on Tuesdays from 18 to 19 by RadioArroba.com; is editor of motorsport in Red Bull Argentina, columnist on the show WorldSport (AM Splendid) and in Surf & Rock FM.  He is also a teacher in SPORTS. Now you can read it on his blog: automundo.com.ar.

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