In a surprising turn of events, for what is a envisioned in my mind to be a desert event, Day 1 of the 2016 Dakar Rally was a washout due to severe rainfall. At first thunderstorms in the area of the competitive stage forced the organizers to postpone the start a couple of times, but the weather did not improve and the stage conditions deteriorated. The rain turned parts of the special into torrents of water.
This Is A Little Scary!
Today’s route was to be 258 km long for the cars and trucks and a slightly shorter, 227 km long for the motorcycles and quads. The first part was to be raced on the same course, but the motorcycles and quads were to follow their own course at km 121.6. After just over 23 km, the bikes were to return to the course used by the cars and trucks, which in turn were to have a specific loop for the final 18 km of the special.
The pre-rain Day 1 route is shown below.
Day 1 Route
The profile of the proposed special stage portion of the Day 1 route shows that the route started off on a steady uphill gradient, but then after the first Safety Passage Control became increasingly mountainous. As a result of the cancellation of the competitive stage, I am not sure which transit route the competitors took to Villa Carlos Paz.
Profile Of Day 1 Route
The conditions remained wet for most of the day.
The View From Carlos Sainz’ Car While On Transit
As it turns out, the first full day of competition in the 2016 Dakar Rally will be Day 2.