Ferreira headed into the fourth round of the 2023 W2RC in sixth place in the overall T3 standings with 74 points and looking to carry on the impressive form that saw the Portuguese driver announce himself to the world by taking a stage victory and three further podiums in his X-raid developed Yamaha YXZ1000R Turbo Prototype at the 2023 Dakar Rally.
The 2023 Desafío Ruta 40 started in La Rioja, traversing three provinces and covering over 3000km in six days before ending in Salta. For the rally, Ferreira was without his usual co-driver, Filipe Palmeiro, with Manuel Porém stepping in to replace him in Argentina, but even so, they got off to a great start.
The duo finished the 9km prologue in fourth place, just 10 seconds off the leaders' pace. Up next was a 333km loop special, which the pairing attacked, but some minor technical issues saw them lose time and drop down the general classification, finishing the stage in 14th, 45 minutes and 53 seconds behind the leaders.
Then the fightback began, as Ferreira and Porém improved on the second special stage, a 339km route from La Rioja to Belen, finishing in eighth place and moving up to 11th in the overall standings. It was on Stage 3, another loop that started and ended at the bivouac in Belen after 265km, that they gave notice of their true pace when they secured their first podium of the rally in third, just two minutes and two seconds behind the day’s winners.
Now ninth in the general classification, they stormed to a sensational victory on the 345km Stage 4 by a margin of one minute and 50 seconds to show what they and their Yamaha side-by-side vehicle were capable of. This moved them up to fifth overall, and they were on course for another win on the final 258km stage before a technical issue saw them lose over four hours and receive a 12-hour and forty-minute penalty.
This dropped them down to eighth in the general classification, 17 hours, three minutes and 18 seconds behind the winners, and means Ferreira is now sixth overall in the W2RC Championship standings, with one round still to go, the Rallye du Maroc on the 12th-18th of October.