“188 motorcycles and quads, 103 cars and S×S and 44 trucks were cleared to start the 40th edition of the Dakar.”
“114 of the 523 competitors are making their Dakar debut, while 51 have already taken part in 10 editions or more.”
The 2018 Dakar is under way!
- STAGE 1: Lima / Pisco
- Liaison > 242 km – Special > 31 km
Today’s first stage took competitors from the start line in Lima through to Pisco – a small town of around 105,000 on the west coast of Peru. The town prospered because of its nearby vineyards and became noted for its grape brandy or pisco.
All three Australians made it through the relatively short 31 km special stage and 242 km liason.
While Sam Sunderland took control from the start, team mate Australian Toby Price could not manage any better than 14th, a massive 3 min 20 sec behind Sunderland.
Rodney Faggotter finished today in 26th, conceding 4 min 35 sec to the leader, and Aussie favourite Scott Britnell completed the stage in a credible 28 min 55 sec to be 7 min 59 sec behind Sunderland and holding down 48th place overall.
The opening special may have been just 31 km long, but the minds of the favourites are already buzzing with strategic considerations.
Sam Sunderland’s scorching time of just 20 min 56 sec through the 31 km of sand in the special stage has set the scene for the event and his title defence.
Today’s Top 5
- 1. Sam Sunderland (KTM)
- 2. Adrien van Beveren (Yamaha) – 00:00:32
- 3. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) – 00:00:55
- 4. Joan Barreda Bort (Honda) – 00:00:56
- 5. Xavier De Soultrait (Yamaha) – 00:01:06
- 14. Toby Price (KTM) – 00:03:20
- 26. Rodney Faggotter (Yamaha) – 00:04:35
- 48. Scott Britnell (KTM) – 00:04:35