LATEST

Storms force Dakar Rally stage cancellation

Speedcafe.com

Monday 4th January, 2016 - 10:35am

Share:

Torrential rain and low cloud forced officials to cancel the opening stage of the Dakar Rally

Torrential rain and low cloud forced officials to cancel the opening stage of the Dakar Rally

Extreme weather has forced organisers to cancel the first full stage of the 2016 Dakar Rally.

A combination of storms and thick low cloud grounded aircraft for the opening stage from Rosario to Villa Carlos Paz which left officials unable to guarantee competitors safety.

Following an initial delay to allow for the weather to clear a decision was made to abandon the run.

Competitors will now travel to Villa Carlos Paz in convoy under untimed ‘link section conditions’.

“The helicopters needed to guarantee the safety of the participants during the race are unable to fly due to poor weather conditions on the course of the special and at the end of the stage,” read a statement from the Dakar Rally.

“The entire field will reach Villa Carlos Paz under link section conditions. Motorcycles and quads will travel in a convoy, cars on their own and trucks on the course reserved for assistance vehicles.”

As a result, the rally standings remain unchanged with Bernhard Ten Brinke leading the car division by three seconds from Peugeot’s Carlos Sainz with Xavier Pons in third.

Honda’s Joan Barreda Bort is at the top of the time sheets in the bike section with Australia’s Toby Price in 16th spot.

The cancellation of the opening stage arrives just hours after the prologue stage was suspended following a crash involving Mini driver Guo Meiling that injured several spectators.

While officials confirmed four individuals were taken to hospital, a further statement confirmed 10 people were treated with two spectators sustaining serious injuries.

“The joint resources of the organization and local forces have taken over and evacuated four injured, including two seriously affected,” organisers said.

“Police have indicated that six more lightly injured have been transferred to hospital.”

The Dakar Rally will continue today with a run from Villa Carlos Paz to Termas Rio Hondo.

Speedcafe.com comment policy

Comments require approval before being published. Speedcafe.com reserves the right to deny any post that is abusive or offtopic.

Users are encouraged to flag/report comments which should be removed.

Some comments may require approval before being published which can take up to 48 hours.

For support, please contact [email protected]

Speedcafe.com has been established to provide a daily motorsport news service to the industry and fans in Australia and internationally.

Read the Speedcafe.com promise
Newsletter

Subscribe to our daily newsletter, the best way to get your news first, fast, and free!