Carlos Sainz wins Dakar opener
The 2013 Dakar Rally has started in Peru with former winner and WRC legend Carlos Sainz heading the car category, while Francisco López got the jump on two wheels during the short opening 13-kilometre stage out of Lima.
Driving a two-wheel-drive Buggy, Sainz scored his 25th stage win , with the Toyota of Lucio Álvarez in second followed by Guerlain Chicherit in another buggy, while Sainz team-mate Nasser Al-Attiyah was fourth. Defending champion Stéphane Peterhansel is looking forward to the longer rougher stages in his four-wheel-drive Mini.
“This stage was just a short prologue, about 13 kilometres long,” said Sainz.
“It was just a warm-up. Things get serious tomorrow.”
The Australian charge is headed by Geoff Olholm in 23rd, while Bruce Garland is easing his way into the event back in 62nd and Adrian Di Lallo is 73rd.
“It wasn’t a great result, but you don’t win this event on Day One – day 14 is the one that counts!” said Garland.
“I made a few mistakes. We had too much pressure in the tyres and too much fuel in the tank, and that all worked to slow us down, but the car is on song so far. Tomorrow will be the real test.
“The other issue I had was that my back keeps telling my brain to slow down over the crests so I need to re-train my brain not to listen. My back is fine.”
No surprises in the motorcycle race with Francisco López leading the charge with his eighth Dakar stage win. Frans Verhoeven is second with Pablo Quintanilla third, defending champion Cyril Despres is fifth.
“It was a bit difficult this morning,” said Lopez.
“I was a bit sleepy during the link section. But the Dakar started with this special and the motorcycle woke up. Just like the rider. It turned out to be a fast section. I did well but I took it calmly.
“Tomorrow is quite different, we’ll see.”
Todd Smith is the best placed Australian in 34th, Matt Fish is 45th just two places ahead of Ben Grabham.
In the quads Ignacio Flores is out front from Sebastian Husseini and Marcos Patronelli. Australia’s lone representative in the quads, Paul Smith, is a creditable 14th.
Gerard de Rooy heads the truck division from Iveco team-mate Hans Stacey, with the Tatra of Ales Loprais in third.
“It was quite a straightforward special but we attacked nevertheless,” said de Rooy.
“There were two dunes which we had to tackle twice, but the rest went quite well. You know, the 3x coefficient can make this short special hazardous, because any mistakes you make are also multiplied by 3, so we didn’t push our limits, but everything went well.”
Isuzu service crew member Richie Hayes is in a MAN truck, racing in the truck category with two Spanish drivers. They posted 52nd fastest time of the 75 starters.
Here are the Day 1 Highlights from the Dakar
|1||Carlos Sainz / Timo Gottschalk||Demon Jefferies Buggy||0:23:00|
|2||Lucio Alverez / Bernardo Graue||Toyota HiLux||+0:00:24|
|3||Guerlain Chicherit / Jean-Pierre Garcin||SMG Buggy||+0:00:30|
|4||Nasser Al-Attiyah / Lucas Cruz||Demon Jefferies Buggy||+0:00:30|
|5||Ronan Chabot / Gilles Pillot||SMG Buggy||+0:00:36|
|6||Krzysztof Holowczyc / Filipe Palmeiro||Mini||+0:01:42|
|7||Leonid Novistkiy / Konstantin Zhiltskov||Mini||+0:01:42|
|8||Stephane Peterhansel / Jean Paul Cottret||Mini||+0:01:42|
|9||Giniel de Villiers / Dirk von Zitzewitz||Toyota HiLux||+0:01:45|
|10||Juan (Nani) Roma / Michel Perin||Mini||+0:01:51|
|23||Geoff Olholm / Jonathan Auston||Toyota HiLux||+0:03:06|
|62||Bruce Garland / Harry Suzuki (Jap)||Isuzu D-Max||+0:07:30|
|73||Adrian Di Lallo / Steve Riley||Isuzu D-Max||+0:08:24|
|9||Pal Anders Ullevalseter||KTM||+0:00:26|
|10||Joan Barreda Bort||Husqvarna||+0:00:29|
|1||Ignacio Flores Seminario||Yamaha||0:46:50|