D-1: The sneak peek of the desert
The desert is never far in Saudi Arabia. The rally only had to opportunity about 30 kilometres outside Jeddah to find the first sandy tracks as well as the first opportunity to slide around the training course for the bikers, riders and motorists in the Dakar. However , standing on thse start podium near King Abdullah Stadium will be the thing they all remember of their initial day out in the desert. 498 competition smiled for the camera on the podium a fter their own 286 vehicles were cleared to begin the 43 rd edition following the technical plus administrative scrutineering: 64 cars, 61 lightweight vehicles (including 44 SSVs), 101 motorbikes, 16 quads plus 44 trucks are all set to begin the 8, 000 km cycle tomorrow. Meanwhile, 23 vehicles is going to be on the start line of the inaugural edition of the Dakar Classic, the regularity race for cars and trucks through the 1980s and 1990s.
As small as the differences were today, they will provided an early snapshot of exactly where everyone stands before the chips come down . Defending champion Ough Brabec claimed the prologue with no really sweating it, while first year Daniel Sanders finished on the podium for the first time. Carlos Sainz had a lacklustre start after suffering a slower puncture: Nasser Al-Attiyah’s pulled degree with his Spanish rival with his thirty six th profession stage win —perhaps a sign associated with things to come. Alexandre Giroud directed the quad field home, whilst Brit Chris Meeke stamped their authority on the lightweight vehicle group and started his rally raid career with a bang. Meanwhile, heck froze over in the truck class as Kamaz proved unable to create a single driver in the top ten and their Maz cousins, Siarhei Viazovich and Aliaksei Vishneuski, completely outclassed the prologue.
Perf’ of the day
John Baragwanath burst back onto the particular stage with a stellar performance right after five years watching the move from the sidelines. The South Africa engineer’s grievous elbow injury, continual right after finishing the Dakar in the quad podium with three phase wins under his belt, provides clearly not affected his organic speed and driving prowess. This individual surprised all the favourites in a prologue designed to facilitate such upsets plus posted the same time as the stage champion, Nasser Al-Attiyah! The fact that Baragwanath will be racing for the Century team on the wheel of the CR6 car they have been developing all year long only can make his performance more impressive. In order to cap it all, the man from Polokwane has teamed up with young Taye Perry, who is serving as their co-driver after finishing his 1st Dakar on a motorbike last year.
Romain Dumas was probably wishing for a different start to his fourth Dakar. Eighth in 2017, he had in order to swallow a massive disappointment after pulling out a mere 71 km into the competition last year. The 11 km lengthy prologue of the 2021 Dakar has extracted its pound of skin from the French driver, racing in the wheel of his own DXX two-wheel drive car. Dumas is now deceased last in the general classification right after taking twice as long as phase winner Nasser Al-Attiyah, seemingly because of a navigational mistake. And it has been but a warning.
Stat’ of the day
41-year-old Kris Meeke already had a long and illustrious rally career behind him, yet he wasted no time in showing his worth in the Dakar. The particular Brit claimed his maiden phase win in his debut in the finest rally on Earth, dominating the light-weight vehicle category, where experience will not seem to be the only factor. The runner-up, 18-year-old rookie Seth Quintero, can be young enough to be his kid! One may be 23 years over the age of the other, but only two mere seconds separate the two men after the prologue.
The first edition of the Dakar Traditional is under way… The Porsche 911 that won the 1984 Dakar with René Metge when driving, now driven by American Amy Lerner, stood in stark comparison to its backdrop at Ruler Abdullah Stadium, inaugurated 30 years afterwards.
Quote of the day
The hero of the Saudi country, fourth in last year’s release, conceded eight seconds to Nasser Al-Attiyah and finished third when needed.
“ Everything proceeded to go well. We didn’t throw extreme care to the wind because we required to avoid getting into trouble. It’s only a prologue, but we ended up very high . ”