The 2017 Dakar Rally has started. Day 1 of the 14 day rally began in Asunción, the capital of Paraguay and ended in Resistencia, Argentina. Along the way the competitors had a short, by Dakar standards, 39 km competitive stage. The first stage can be a little dangerous as the drivers need to not get carried away on this stage which will likely have little to do with the final standings.
I am disappointed, but not surprised, that Robby Gordon is not competing in the Dakar this year. He as much as said that he would not be back again during last year’s event. I expect that the organizers and the major factory teams are glad that he is not competing because I believe that he was seen as a disruptor by the Dakar establishment. Unfortunately, the Dakar has lost a competitor who was popular with the spectators and who helped spread the word about the Dakar in North America.
The situation with the factory teams at the 2017 Dakar is strong. Mini, Peugeot, and Toyota all have strong teams this year. To a lesser extent, Ford has entered a team this year. Unfortunately BMW seems to have withdrawn from Dakar this year. in general, I think that the event will be quite competitive this year, but we’ll find out over the next two weeks.
Today’s route is shown below. The timed portion of the day is shown in red, while the transit or liaison portion is shown in green.
Day 1 Route
Today’s route is not only short, but in addition, there is relatively little elevation change compared to the remainder of the Dakar. The profile of the 2017 Day 1 route is shown below.
Day 1 Profile
The top competitors made it through the Day 1 stage and are in good shape for the major portion of the rally which begins tomorrow. Given that not much absolute time was on the table today, it would not surprise me if some of the teams were doing some productive slowing in this stage as the starting order for Day 2 is based on the Day 1 ranking. Some teams might have preferred to have other teams “sweep” the roads in tomorrow’s stage.
The 2017 Dakar Day 1 standings are presented below. If there is such a thing as a “rabbit” in this rally, it would be Nasser Al-Attiyah. He is fast and seems to only drive fast, so it is not a surprise to see him at the top of the Day 1 standings.
Dakar 2017 Day One Results and Overall Car Class Standings
HARO BRAVO (ESP)
|5||302||DE VILLIERS (ZAF)
VON ZITZEWITZ (DEU)
|7||306||AL RAJHI (SAU)
|10||310||VAN LOON (NLD)
In the United States, the NBC Sports Network will again be broadcasting a daily half-hour summary show of the 2017 Dakar rally. On the east coast, the show is on NBCSN at 5:30PM starting tomorrow.
If you have any comments or questions regarding the 2017 Dakar rally or this post either leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net