Heavy rains and thunderstorms in the provinces where the special was to take place forced the organizers to cancel the timed section. Safety concerns centered around the fact that support helicopters were unable to fly over the area.
After the serious accident that occurred yesterday when Chinese pilot Guo Meiling spun out during the Prologue, leaving 10 people injured, two of them critically, the first stage of the 2016 Dakar had to be cancelled due to bad weather.
The first bike was scheduled to take off at 8:00 am yesterday, but given the weather conditions, the organizers decided to push the start time back by half an hour. It was delayed again for an hour to see if the rain would let up. It didn't, and finally, at 10:33 am, Race Director Étienne Lavigne announced that the first stage had been called off.
"All of the vehicles will travel to Villa Carlos Paz under link section rules. Bikes and quads will travel in a convoy, while cars will travel on their own, and trucks will travel on the course for assistance vehicles," stated the press release issued by ASO, the company organizing the Dakar Rally.
The Dakar caravan will face a long section today: 510 timed kilometers for Cars and Trucks and 450 kilometers for Bikes and Quads. This stage goes from the city of Villa Carlos Paz, in the province of Córdoba, to the city of Termas de Río Hondo, in the province of Santiago del Estero.
The four Team PETRONAS De Rooy Iveco trucks and the Team La Gloriosa De Rooy Iveco truck are ready to battle it out in the leading pack and score a victory in the 2016 Dakar.
To learn more about Iveco's teams and vehicles and to follow Iveco day-by-day throughout the race, visit www.iveco.com/dakar