Dakar. 3 January: Villa Carlos Paz
A false start for the Dakar
All the competitors were eager to get stuck into the first proper stage of the 2016 Dakar today, but it was cancelled due to extreme weather.
• The torrential rain that lashed down onto the region around Villa Carlos Paz prevented the rally’s safety helicopters from taking off. As a result, the organisers had no choice but to cancel the entire stage for all categories of competitor.
• As the cars did not undergo the gruelling test that was scheduled, the engineers revised the maintenance and parts replacement schedule, drawing up a modified job list that took into account the absence of competitive kilometres.
• Tomorrow, the competitors will head westwards, travelling from Villa Carlos Paz to Termas de Rio Hondo. This 847-kilometre day will take in one of the longest stages of the rally, at 510 kilometres in length. It’s going to be a rude awakening for the crews, with the first car getting away at 09:07. Following the classification of the prologue yesterday, Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz will start second on the road tomorrow, Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret will start ninth, Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena will start 10th and Cyril Despres/David Castera will get underway from 11th.