2018 Dakar Rally: Al-Attiyah was the fastest on the short opening stage
The Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah in the #301 Toyota Hilux was the fastest driver on the short opening stage of the 2018 Dakar Rally.
The 40th edition of the world’s toughest race started in Peru’s capital Lima, with 335 vehicles and more than 500 competitors on the official start list.
After a spectacular link section on the Pacific coast, the first competitive stage was just 31 kilometers long, around a town of Pisco, but it was enough to bring problems to some of the front-runners.
Nasser Al-Attiyah needed 21.51 minutes to finish the stage over sandy dunes, more than two minutes faster than last year’s winner and 13-time triumphant Stephane Peterhansel in the #300 Peugeot 3008 DKR. His teammate Sebastien Loeb had brake problems on his Peugeot, finishing 5.37 minutes behind.
The second-fastest driver on the opening stage was Bernhard ten Brinke in the #309 Toyota Hilux, 25 seconds behind Qatari driver. The third-fastest was the Peruvian driver Nicolas Fuchs in the #313 Borgward BX7. The fastest among many X-Raid’s entries with Mini cars was a rookie Bryce Menzies (#310) in the fourth place, ahead of his teammate Nani Roma.
In the motorcycle category, the last year’s winner Sam Sunderland (KTM) is the leader. The best on quads was Ignacio Casale (Yamaha) while the fastest trucker was legendary Aleš Loprais in the #504 Tatra.
The Stage 2 would be the first proper stage with 267 kilometers of competitive driving. It’s a loop stage which has start and finish in Pisco.