Just over 80 km of special with medium-height dunes and passages between oued began the 41st edition of the Dakar rally that kicked off this morning, January 7th, from the capital Lima to reach Pisco, a town facing on the Pacific Ocean. A stage of 331 km total (247 of liason) that allowed competitors to enter into the heart of the most famous motoring adventure in the world that this year takes place entirely in the territory of Peru with 10 stages and 5 thousand km (3 thousand of SS).
With the official colors of CST Tires, the French Eric Abel and Christian Manez (#341) have crossed the milestone of the first special of Dakar 2019 with a time of 1h20'09": " It was a fun workout in view of the stages more challenging that will start in the coming days - explains Christian Manez - In the 84 km of this first special we faced dunes of medium height, oued with sand and stony bottom and finally a cord of dunes that led us up to the finish line".
After winning second place at last year's Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Polish driver Maciej Domzala, sailed by fellow countryman Rafal Marton, brought the Polaris RZR 1000 Turbo #376 at the end of this special race by taking a time of 1h39'29". For Maciej, today's special stage was a good test to become familiar with Polaris.
The debut in the Dakar of the Mexican Santiago Garcia Creel, sailed by the Polish Szymon Gospodarczyk, saw the Polaris RZR #362 pilot win the second best time for the French team of Gorrevod with 1h34'02": “I had a lot of fun riding sand and this special was a good test to start the Dakar - comments Santiago - The dunes of today have not been difficult but surely from tomorrow the games will get tougher ".
Good test finally for the French crew #359 composed by Ronald Basso and Julien Menard who concluded the SS in 1h37'18", late at the finish line because of a puncture that unfortunately made him lose about ten minutes.
Just over 1h54' of time for Marco Piana, sailed by the Swiss Steven Griener, to finish the 84 km of today's special stage, always remaining available as a quick assistance for the 4 Polaris RZR.
Source: Xtreme+ press release, photo credits: RallyZone