The Dakar Rally 2016 kicked off yesterday with a new Prologue stage that is meant to define the official starting grid for the first stage today. Bernhard Ten Brinke from Holland topped the stage in the Cars category driving an Overdrive Racing Toyota Hilux, co-driven by Tom Colsoul.
Two-time WRC champion and 2010 Dakar Rally winner Carlos Sainz came in second in his Peugeot Sport 3008 DKR co-driven by Lucas Cruz while Ford’s Xavier Pons rounded off the top three in the Cars category.
Honda’s Joan Barreda finished first in the Bikes category leading Ruben Faria and Hélder Rodrigues. Yamaha filled the Quads category with Ignacio Casale emerging first ahead of Marcos Patronelli and Pablo Copetti.
An incident took place halfway through prologue when the X-raid Mini of Guo Meiling went off track and hit a crowd of spectators injuring four of them. Emergency aid was swift to respond with both helicopters and first responders. The stage was halted after the accident, 59 out of 111 cars made it to the end before the halt.
This is the 37th edition of the Dakar Rally and the 8th edition to be held in South America. Competitors will rally through Argentina and Bolivia starting today – there are a total of 354 vehicles including 143 bikes, 46 quads, 110 cars and 55 trucks. The total number of stages to be driven equals to 14 including the prologue.
Check back for results and photos from stage 1 which kicks off today in Rosario and end in Villa Carlos Paz after a distance of 632 km.