A total of 449 vehicles set out to race the motor sports classic Dakar today from Lima to Santiago
The two top winners of Stage1 out of 14 Stages where Carlos Sainz in the Toyo Tires Jeffries built Buggy and KTM rider Lopez Contardo in the bikes category.
The stage was very short after a 250km/transition stage out of Lime to Pisco.
Bikes favorite Despres strategy for today not to be first but rather have a top finish paid off since the previous stage winner starts the next stage and then has to lay down the first tracks of the day.
A new Dakar element this year is to multiply some stage times by 5x for the bikes and 3x for the cars. For example Carlos Sainz Stage1 time was 00:07:40 and that resulted into a total Rally time of exactly 00:23:00 after a 3x multiplication. The idea behind this concept is to put more weight into this rather shot stage of just 13km/8miles.
Americans car favorite Robby Gordon (#315) had a rather bad start of this years Dakar rally. Just a few kilometers into the short stage he got himself stuck in the dunes and a malfunctioning reverse gear made a simple backing out of the situation impossible. He finished 136th out of 151 stage starters and 148 finishers. He was only 10Minutes 35 Seconds behind Carlso Sainz, but since all stage times get multiplied his overall time is now 31:45 behind the leader. He has his work cut out to podium the event.
The other American built buggies of Al-Attayah had a flawless run and finished only 3 seconds after Sainz.
Complete Results for Stage 1 can be found on the ASO website.