The opening stage was nothing short of a nightmare for Nani Roma.
The defending champion of the Dakar Rally ended the first stage today more than six hours behind and effectively out of the running for repeating his 2014 triumph.
The No. 300 Mini All4 broke down twice and needed to be towed for most of the stage, waiting hours for help to arrive. Nani Roma was scored dead last at the end of the day. The mechanical gremlins showed up very early in the stint, starting at the 3km mark. He attempted to rejoin the rally without the assistance of a tow, only to break down a second time.
Only twice in the last decade has the veteran Dakar competitor failed to complete the event. Despite the obvious fact that he will not quit despite such a margin, if Mini wants to win for the fourth year in succession, they won't be doing it with the Spaniard.