Dakar 2016: Ten Brinke fastest at Prologue, Chinese driver hit the spectators
The 38th edition of the Dakar Rally started on Saturday afternoon in Buenos Aires. After 347 vehicles (136 bikes, 45 quads, 111cars and 55 trucks) crossed the starting line on the ceremonial podium at Technopolis they had to run over a 11-km Prologue stage. The times achieved during that short stage will determine the starting order for Sunday’s start of the first proper stage: the Rosario – Villa Carlos Paz.
The fastest driver on the Prologue was Dutchman Bernhard Ten Brinke. He claimed a stage victory driving a Toyota Hilux with 6.08 minutes to cover 11 kilometres, three seconds faster than Carlos Sainz with Peugeot 2008 DKR and Xavier Pons with Ford Ranger.
Chinese female driver hit the spectators
Among the other favourites, last year’s winner Nasser Al-Attiyah (Mini) finished in the fourth place. Nani Roma and Mikko Hirvonen, also with Mini All4 Racing, took sixth and seventh place, respectively, while Giniel de Villiers (8th) and his Toyota Hilux posted the same time as the other Peugeot drivers, Stephane Peterhansel (9th), Sebastien Loeb (10th) and Cyril Despres (11th).
Unfortunately, the first day of Dakar 2016 was marked by the accident of the car #360. Chinese female and Dakar debutant driver Guo Meiling went off the road with her Mini All4 Racing at 6.6-km mark of the prologue’s special and hit the spectators. Eleven spectators were injured. The organisers immediately deployed all resources available to the site of the accident: four medical helicopters, three medical vehicles belonging to the organisers and eight local ambulances. The race directors immediately decided to neutralise the race.
Here are the some shots from the accident:
Video: Guo Meiling accident