Leaders make their mark in the first stage of the 2014 Dakar Rally.
The 2014 Dakar Rally kicked off Sunday, with the first stage between Rosario and San Luis in Argentina. It took 2 hours and 25 minutes, 31 seconds for the motorcycle of Joan Barreda to make it to the finish line, riding a Honda.
The car category has Carlos Sousa, from Portugal pacing his class. With a time of 2 hours, 20 minutes and 36 seconds, he sits only 11 seconds ahead of Orlando Terranova, who is driving a Mini.
American Robby Gordon, a favorite to win the rally classic had a terrible start to his 2014 effort, falling more than 2 hours behind the pace in the car category.
“I don’t know what happened,” Gordon said to the Dakar Rally website.
“Everything went smoothly when we took things easy on the link section, but from the moment we started the special [stage], we had vapor lock problems and we had to stop. Then, all the other fluids started to overheat, so we had to stop at least five or six times."
The quads category is also seeing a close fight for the first position, as Chilean rider Ignacio Casale totaled 2 hours, 38 minutes, 41 seconds for his first stage.
He is being chased by Argentinian rider Marcos Patronelli, who is only 21 seconds back.
“I didn't particularly like this stage, to be honest. There were pitfalls everywhere, so I had some trouble finding my rhythm.” Patronelli said.
“I also wanted to take care of the quad and forget about speed, but the other competitors pulled out all the stops. I really took care of the quad today."
A ten second lead for Russian Ayrat Mardeev after one stage over Ales Loprais in the truck category should make for a great second stage tomorrow.
Check back with Motorsport.com every day for a stage recap, highlighting all the leaders of all four classes of this years Dakar Rally in Argentina.