Many contestants of the rally “Dakar-2019” were eager to leave Lima after the ceremonial start and finally get on the track of the first special section. Relatively short in the scale of rally-raids 300-km movement from the capital of Peru to Pisco drastically changed the surrounding picture. The bivouac after the liaison met the participants with extreme heat and a dust storm. A rather unusual route configuration led the crews to the start line of the first special stage right through the bivouac. But today something again went wrong with the timing (on the pre-start days there were many complaints about organization of scruteneering and the start ceremony in Lima). The start for the car and truck categories was delayed for an hour and a huge queue appeared on the way to the starting line. The reason was a delay in the start of bikes. The organizers decided to re-flash their navigation devices in the morning. Russian contestant Anastasiya Nifontova said that she had to wait for the end of this procedure for about 40 minutes. Moreover, part of the novice bikers astrayed today’s route and the organizers decided to delay the start of cars for safety reasons.
However, the 84-kilometer special section in the heavy sands on the very first day is a rather risky decision for the organizers. On the one hand, it is quite logical, if they want to immediately “exclude” and send the rookies, who withdrew at the very first stage of the race, back to Lima, but there is a danger that the number of sportsmen, who withdrew on the very first day, may be too large.
It took the winner of today’s stage in the AUTO category, the Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah, a little more than an hour to overcome the distance (01:01:41). To the joy of the Russians the stage in the truck classification was won by the KAMAZ crew of Eduard Nikolaev. His result is 1 hour 09 minutes 05 seconds. The mechanic of Eduard Nikolaev’s crew Vladimir Rybakov gave a detailed description of today’s route. Immediately after the start, the sportsmen were awaited by quite challenging dunes. A great influence on the speed of driving across them depends on which side they are “inflated” by the wind and how the movement of race cars occurs relatively this vector. Today, in most cases the contestants had to descend the steep slopes and it was often fraught with painful knocks of a bumper and even rollover forward. Having traveled in such a mode for about 30 kilometers, the race’s peloton entered a narrow and rather deep, dried-up riverbed, the bottom of which was covered with stones that could easily damage the wheels. Avoiding the riverbed for the safer driving could cause the loss of navigational bindings. There were few people who wanted to get lost, so the crews patiently overcame almost 15 kilometers along the bottom of this dry river. Then there were not less difficult kilometers with alternate fast, dense and heavy, loose sands. According to the mechanics, they had to constantly change tire pressure from 1.5 to 3.5 atmospheres.
Started ahead of Gerard De Rooy, the crew of Airat Mardeev had to pass forward the Dutchman who had caught him up. But after that the Russians hung on him, not lagging behind. Most likely, the taken pace led to the failure of the pneumatic system on the De Rooy’s truck, due to the pressure drop in the rear brake circuit, the brakes began to warm up and as a result one of the IVECO wheels started to burn at the finish, but the crew coped with the fire on their own.
Already at the bivouac Andrey Karginov shared that he was very happy to return to Dakar after a forced break: “I haven’t been here for three years. It is very nice to return to familiar places. Five years ago we had a prologue in this place. Everything instantly casted my mind back. It was an interesting ‘rolling into’ day. There were difficult dunes. Though, not the most loose, but it was difficult for the truck to climb. However, it should be noted that all participants are in the same conditions. It’s not easy for everyone. All in the same conditions. Everyone has approximately similar vehicles. Many participants try to participate in various competitions during the year and gain experience. About fifteen contestants pretend for the medal places. This is also shown by rather dense results after the stage.”
On the short special stage Lima-Pisco, the navigators were awaited by unexpectedly many control points, which were quite easy to miss due to the strong dust coming from the other contestants. For example, the MAZ crew of Siarhei Viazovich lost about 10 minutes today due to the navigation problems. Therefore, it is important for the navigator to mentally “drive” the next day’s route using the given road book.
TRUCK CATEGORY. CLASSIFICATION OF STAGE 1
1. NIKOLAEV EDUARD (KAMAZ) 01:09:05
2. VAN GENUGTEN TON (IVECO) +00:00:18
3. VILLAGRA FEDERICO (IVECO) +00:00:53
4. DE ROOY GERARD (IVECO) +00:01:44
5. SOTNIKOV DMITRY (KAMAZ) +00:03:33
6. KARGINOV ANDREY (KAMAZ) +00:03:49
7. MARDEEV AIRAT (KAMAZ)+ 00:04:02
8. LOPRAIS ALES (TATRA) +00:05:44
9. VISHNEUSKI ALIAKSEI (MAZ) +00:06:08
10. SOLTYS MARTIN (TATRA) +00:06:33
11. KOLOMY MARTIN (TATRA)+00:07:40
12. MACIK MARTIN (LIAZ) +00:09:05
13. VAN DEN BRINK MARTIN (RENAULT TRUCKS) +00:10:26
14. VIAZOVICH SIARHEI (MAZ) +00:10:27
15. HUZINK GERT (RENAULT)+00:12:15
16. VAN KASTEREN JANUS (RENAULT TRUCKS) +00:12:42
17. VASILEVSKI ALEKSANDR (MAZ) +00:12:45
18. VAN DEN HEUVEL MAURIK (IVECO) +00:17:19
19. SUGAWARA TERUHITO (HINO) +00:23:41
20. ZUURMOND GERRIT (MAN) +00:30:09
21. DE GROOT RICHARD (DAF)+00:32:11
22. BEHRINGER MATHIAS (MAN) +00:33:01
23. WIGMAN ED (MAN) +00:35:45
24. BELLINA CLAUDIO (DAF)+00:36:30
25. JUVANTENY JORDI (MAN) +00:37:42
26. BESNARD SYLVAIN (MAN) +01:11:06
27. GONZALEZ RICHARD (DAF)+01:18:08
28. SUGAWARA YOSHIMASA (HINO)+01:24:25
29. BERGHMANS DAVE (IVECO) +01:25:14
30. DE GROOT WILLIAM (DAF)+01:30:01
31. BENBEKHTI AHMED (MAN)+01:49:32
32. HERRERO ALBERTO (MAN) +02:00:22