After the Scrutineering and the Ceremonial Start in Peru on Sunday, on Monday the 41th edition of Dakar Rally finally kicked off with the first stage. As a beginning, the organizers prepared for the over one hundreds of crews an 84 km timed section. Technical problems were unfortunately not avoided by Martin Prokop, who had to stop several times during the stage to solve problems with the electronics of Raptor RS Cross Country. He eventually finished with a loss of about twenty minutes in 46th place. His teammate Tomáš Ouředníček clocked the 25th time, with a gap of a mere ten minutes to the leader.
Martin Prokop: "The Dakar did not start very well for us when the car stopped after the first kilometer, and then twice more. When this happened for the fourth time, the reset of the electronics did not help, so we had to contact the team and to try to find a solution with their remote help. Finally, we managed to restart, but the whole action lasted for infinitely long and we lost about eighteen minutes altogether. This was not the best start for us, but I believe that this loss will not mean too much in the overall classification. Sadly, we were let down by a 1 Euro part, but that happens sometimes. We have to hope that this was the last hurdle and starting from behind we will just make our way up through the slower cars starting ahead of us. I am looking forward to seeing what is in us and in the car, because otherwise Shrek literally flew, and with Jenda we both enjoyed our time in the cabin."
The team’s second crew Ouředníček / Křípal completed the first Dakar stage without any problems. Tomáš Ouředníček: "I have to admit that I had a great respect for the first stage and I am glad to be in perfect time and without problems at the finish. Now I can say I'm looking forward to the next racing day. I was aiming to be fast enough to stay in front of the Peugeot starting behind me until somewhere around the middle of the stage, but eventually he did not get close to me until the finish. We did not make any navigational mistake and in the second half of the stage we were battling on the track with several cars."
Results in the 1st Stage of Rally Dakar 2019 (cars):
1. N.Al-Attiyah (Toyota) 1:01:41
2. C.Sainz (Mini) +01:59
3. J.Przygonski (Mini) +02:00
25. T.Ouředníček (Ford) +10:00
46. M.Prokop (Ford) +20:52
Source: MP-Sports press release