The first motorsport event of any year is the Dakar Rally, which for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere is a great winter-warmer reminding us what it is like not to be cold (though thankfully the winter has been mild in the UK this season – so far) whilst also providing us a racing fix.
The organisers release ~3-minute highlight packages of each stage which are a great way to get a Dakar fix without a lot of commitment, so if you haven’t followed much of this year’s rally or want to relive it, do take a look. There are also short ‘magazine’ segments of about a minute. I’ll be posting videos here over the next week, all you have to do is come back here every day and watch no more than ten minutes of amazing footage. I wish I’d remembered these videos earlier rather than on the day the competitors contested Stage 10, so I’ll aim to post two stages per evening to catch up.
For those wanting more detail, there are 30-40 minute recap shows available on Eurosport (Europe), NBC Sports (USA), SBS (Australia), France Television (France) and other networks around the world. I watch those shows because they are good fun, but obviously it is a big commitment to ask everybody to do that for a fortnight. Do watch these shorter 3min videos for a taste of the action.
This year the rally travels from the Atlantic coast of Argentina to the Pacific coasts of Chile and Peru.
Again the rally is contested by different vehicles: bikes, quads, cars and trucks. My main interest lies with the cars (a fleet of (big) MINIs against Robby Gordon and Nasser al-Attiyah in Hummers, what a contrast!) and then the bikes (featuring an epic battle between Marc Coma and Cyril Despres), but the trucks and quads can be fun sometimes too. The videos should typically open with the bikes and then cover the cars.
Mara del Plata > Santa Rosa de la Pampa
A short warm-up stage of just 57km to get things going, but with a long road section of 700km afterwards to get the competitors deep into Argentina.
Stage Summary (3min):
Sadly one of the characters of the Dakar was out on day one, Alfie Cox’s Volvo went up in flames.
Videos from the official Dakar YouTube channel / ASO.
Don’t read this until you’ve seen the videos – spoilers!
1. Lopez (Aprilia)
2. Coma (KTM)
3. Pizzolito (Honda)
4. Cody (Honda)
5. Przygonski (KTM)
1. Novitskiy (MINI)
2. Holowcyc (MINI)
3. Peterhansel (MINI)
4. De Villiers (Toyota)
5. Gordon (Hummer)
Early days yet though.