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Dakar Rally 2018 kicks off today, 40th year overall.

14 stages and nearly 9,000km on some of the world’s most hostile motorsport terrain in Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.

The 2018 Dakar Rally roars into life on January 6 with teams taking on 14 stages and nearly 9,000km on some of the world’s most hostile motorsport terrain in Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.

The 40th edition of the iconic rally raid race sees competitors in the car, bike, truck and quad categories push themselves and their vehicles to the limit.

Stars including 13-time champion Stéphane Peterhansel, WRC king Sébastien Loeb as well as history makers Sam Sunderland and Toby Price will all be battling it out for the most prestigious off-road rally title on the planet.

 


 

STAGES
SS = Special Stage, C = Car, B = Bike, T = Truck, Q = Quad

06/01/18 – Stage 1 / Lima – Pisco: 272 km (SS: 31 km)

07/01/18 – Stage 2 / Pisco – Pisco: 278 km (SS: 267 km)

08/01/18 – Stage 3 / Pisco – San Juan de Marcona: (C,T), 502 km (SS: 295 km) / (B,Q), 501 km (SS: 295 km)

09/01/18 – Stage 4 / San Juan de Marcona – San Juan de Marcona: 444 km (SS: 330 km)

10/01/18 – Stage 5 / San Juan de Marcona – Arequipa: (B,Q), 770 km (SS: 264 km) / (C,T), 932 km (SS: 267 km)

11/01/18 – Stage 6 / Arequipa – La Paz: 758 km (SS: 313 km)

12/01/18 – Day off in La Paz

13/01/18 – Stage 7 / La Paz – Uyuni: 726 km (SS: 425 km) / (T), 669 km (SS: 368 km)

14/01/18 – Stage 8 / Uyuni – Tupiza: 584 km (SS: 498 km) / (T), 558 km (SS: 380 km)

15/01/18 – Stage 9 / Tupiza – Salta: 754 km (SS: 242km)

16/01/18 – Stage 10 / Salta – Belén: 795 km (SS: 372 km)

17/01/18 – Stage 11 / Belén – Chilecito: (B,Q), 484 km (SS: 280 km) / (C,T), 746 km (SS: 280 km)

18/01/18 – Stage 12 / Chilecito – San Juan: (B,Q), 722 km (SS: 375 km) / (C,T), 791 km (SS: 522 km)

19/01/18 – Stage 13 / San Juan – Córdoba: (B,Q), 904 km (SS, 423 km) / (C,T), 927 km (SS: 368 km)

20/01/18 – Stage 14 / Córdoba – Córdoba: 284 km (SS: 119 km)

RED BULL DESERT WINGS SQUAD

Bike
1. Sam Sunderland (GBR) – Red Bull KTM Factory Team
2. Matthias Walkner (AUT) – Red Bull KTM Factory Team
8. Toby Price (AUS) – Red Bull KTM Factory Team
9. Stefan Svitko (SVK) – Slovnaft Rally Team
15. Laia Sanz (ESP) – KTM Factory Racing Team
19. Antoine Meo (FRA) – Red Bull KTM Factory Team
33. Daniel Jager Nosiglia (BOL) – Husqvarna
49. Santosh Shivashankar Chunchunguppe (IND) – Hero Motorsports Rally Team
55. Walter Jager Nosiglia (BOL) – Husqvarna

Car
300. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) – Team Peugeot Total
301. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) – Toyota Gazoo Racing SA
303. Carlos Sainz (ESP) – Team Peugeot Total
304. Giniel De villiers (RSA) – Toyota Gazoo Racing SA
306. Sébastien Loeb (FRA) – Team Peugeot Total
308. Cyril Despres (FRA) – Team Peugeot Total
310. Bryce Menzies (USA) – X-Raid Team
312. Jakub Przygonski (POL) – X-Raid Team

Quad
241. Ignacio Casale (CHL) – Casale Racing

Truck
500. Eduard Nikolaev (RUS) – Kamaz-Master
502. Dmitry Sotnikov (RUS) – Kamaz-Master
507. Airat Mardeev (RUS) – Kamaz-Master
515. Anton Shibalov (RUS) – Kamaz-Master

 


 

 

 

 

 

Post photo: Courtesy of Red Bull Media House

 

Cyril Despres (FRA) of Team Peugeot Total tests prior Rally Dakar 2018 in Lima, Peru on January 4, 2018

 


 

– Daily highlights and behind the scenes content on Red Bull TV HERE.

 


 

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Sainz forced out of Dakar

Former champion rolled into ravine on brink of taking Dakar Rally 2017 lead.

Former champion rolled into ravine on brink of taking Dakar Rally 2017 lead.

 

 

Carlos Sainz has been forced to withdraw from the Dakar Rally after pushing too hard in the battle for the lead following early stage navigation problems.

The 2010 winner was just three miles from the end of the Jujuy-Tupiza stage in Bolivia when he suffered the ravine roll.Even though two-time World Rally champion Sainz and co-driver Lucas Cruz managed to get their Peugeot 3008DKR to the service bivouac, the damage proved too much to repair in time for Friday’s stage.

Sainz, who incurred pain in his lower back during the accident, explained: “It is obviously devastating to have to retire. We had been running at a good pace since the start of the rally in the PEUGEOT 3008DKR which is a real improvement over last year’s car.
“I am so disappointed that I won’t be able to reap the benefit of its potential.
“We had lost so much time at the start of the stage – we had to recover, and recover, and recover.

“And when you take so many risks, these things can happen.”

 

Sainz joins fellow high-profile casualties such as double winner Nasser Al-Attiyah and reigning motorcycle champion Toby Price of Australia.

Carlos Sainz (ESP) of Team Peugeot Total races during stage 03 of Rally Dakar 2017 from Tucuman to Jujuy, Argentina on January 4, 2017

Carlos Sainz (ESP) of Team Peugeot Total races during stage 03 of Rally Dakar 2017 from Tucuman to Jujuy, Argentina on January 4, 2017

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The 12 days of the Dakar

Arguably motorsport’s most arduous course gets under way on January 2 in Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay, stage one’s 454 kilometres a mere dent in the marathon course that lies await.

From Red Bull:

 

A closer look at the numbers behind arguably motorsport’s toughest event.

 


 

 

Arguably motorsport’s most arduous course gets under way on January 2 in Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay, stage one’s 454 kilometres a mere dent in the marathon course that lies await.

Ahead of the illustrious race, we dissect the 12 stages over 13 days and the overall race in numbers…

1 – Bib No.1 will be adorned by Australian Toby Price, who last year became the first Australian to win the Dakar as he proved victorious in the motorbike category. He won five stages in all, was 40 minutes clear of his closest rival and is the only person to win the event on only his second attempt.

2 – Nasser al-Attiyah won two stages last year in the Dakar car category, one more than the number of medals he has won at the Summer Olympics, for which he has a shooting bronze from London. But sticking to twos, it is the number of times he has won Dakar and also his position in last year’s race come the finish.

3 – This year’s event will pass through a total of three countries in South America: Paraguay, where it starts, Bolivia and Argentina, where it reaches its climax.

4 – Jutta Kleinschmidt was the first and still only female winner of the Dakar proving victorious on four wheels in the car category in 2001. But her first forays along the route were on two wheels rather than four, making her debut in 1988 on a BMW motorcycle before switching to a car in 1994.

5 – Stage five of this year’s race is in the heart of the Bolivia Altiplano where the Andes are at their wildest. Outside Tibet, it is the most extensive high plateau on earth in which two hefty sand dune sections will provide an ultimate test for those still in the race.

6 – Last year, there were 18 Red Bull entries, or Desert Wings, who took to the start line. Come the race finish some two weeks later, six of that number were among the podium finishers.

7 – The entourage that now supports the Dakar is absolutely monstrous. The race is followed and filmed from above by a total of seven helicopters but that is not the only race back-up. In addition, there is a field hospital, an air ambulance and 60 nursing staff on hand in case of any emergencies.

8 – The 2016 running of the Dakar was the eighth successive year in which the rally was run in South America, the race moving there in 2009 because of safety fears in parts of Africa. Traditionally, its route – from its inception in 1979 – had been from Paris to Dakar although the French capital last hosted the depart in 2001.

9 – There are no shortage of motorsport royalty in the starting line-up for this year. Perhaps most notable among them is Sebastien Loeb, who is making his second entry in the race. Loeb is best known for his years in the World Rally Championship in which he won nine titles. He also finished ninth overall last year on his Dakar debut.

10 – The tightest ever margin of victory on the Dakar was just two minutes and 12 seconds back in 2010. That year, Carlos Sainz edged out al-Attiyah in a nail-biting finale to a gripping race-long contest.

11 – Red Bull athletes enjoyed a stunning Dakar in 2016. They won 11 out of 13 stages and 91% of the time they were on the podium.

12 – Stephane Peterhansel won the car event last year and boasts an astonishing 12 overall Dakar victories. He was once the dominant force in the motorbike class in which he won six times before switching to cars and emulating that number of wins.

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