By: Pep Cifre, Rally Raid Reporter
- G-Force Team takes early lead
- Stage 1 Mokow - Lipetks news
- Peterhansel has electronical issues
Nikolaev and Zheludov take the lead on the first stage of Dakar Series Silk Way Rally
The first stage of the race has broken all bets made last night, the seven times Dakar winner Stéphane Peterhansel has suffered electronical problems in the new MINI at kilometer 43 of the stage and lost about two hours and a half by the end of the stage. The Frenchman has left the way clear for his rivals. The fastest at CP2 are the Russian pilot Zheludov followed by Briskindov with seven minutes fifty-one seconds, only four fewer than the Ukrainian Nesterchuck.
In the CP3, pilots of the G-Force Team improved their performance and Bogdan Novitskiy was second with less than seven minutes to Zheludov, followed by Polish racer Holowczyk with the BMW X- Raid and the Opel Antara of the Hungarian Balazs Szalay. Boris Gadasin recovered seven positions and stood fifth in CP4.
At the end of the stage the rain has surprised everyone at the bivouac and has flooded several areas of the same cars that were already muddy throughout the period and they have not noticed the sudden change in weather. The Zheludov Nissan has won the stage ahead of a surprising Holowczyck and Bogdan Novitsky, followed by Boris Gadasin, that after completing the stage told us "The stage has been hard, not only bad weather but we had a complicated a little tour." The start of this year's race seems calmer than last year. "Well, this year is different, last year we wanted to prove with Volkswagen and this year we intend to finish the rally. I have a new co-driver and need to adapt, today we had some problems with interpretation of the road book, but we are very happy with our positions as they are a good place to start tomorrow."
The truck category has been a Kamaz Show, Nicolaev signed a sensational stage with the second time surpassing even Holowczyk's time. The rest of the teams drivers have covered the top five with Kabirov, Ardavitchus, Karginov and Mardev. Loprais with the new Tatra only reached the sixth overall. The famous Team De Rooy has suffered damage pathways that have deprived them of a better situation in the table. Hans Stacey has suffered a blowout and the wheel is on fire with what they had to put out the fire and replace the tire. Jo Adua in the second truck have broken the air duct and repair it on the track has made them lose nearly fifty minutes.