The 2019 Dakar Rally kicked off in Peru earlier this week. Dakar Rally Stage 1 was the first day of proper racing with an 84 km dune-populated stage that took place after a 247-kilometre liaison, before finishing in Pisco.

Starting strong

In the car category, two-time Dakar winner Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota Gazoo Racing SA) claimed the stage win. The Qatari crossed the finish line almost two minutes ahead of his closest rival, reigning champion Carlos Sainz (X-Raid Mini JCW Team). In third place was Jakub Przygonski (Orlen X-Raid Team).

Al-Attiyah said at the end of day one: “The stage was tricky, not easy. There was a good line from the bikes and we didn’t push a lot. The last 10 km, we caught Carlos (Sainz) and tried to stay behind him until the finish. Today is not a short stage, full sand, it’s not easy. And tomorrow will be similar.”

Local lad

South African Giniel de Villiers and co-pilot Dirk von Zitzewitz finished sixth on the first stage, 2 min 40 sec behind the early leader, and his team-mate, Al-Attiyah. Read more about the SA-entered team here.

Check out the official Dakar YouTube channel for a video review of the day.

1 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel Toyota 1 hr 1 min 41 sec

2 Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz Mini Buggy +1 min 59 sec

3 Jakub Przygonski/Tom Colsoul Mini 4×4 +2 min 00 sec

4 Vladimir Vasilyev/Konstantin Zhiltsov Toyota +2 min 18 sec

5 Yazeed Al-Rajhi Timo Gottschalk Mini 4×4 +2 min 28 sec

6 Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz Toyota +2 min 40 sec

7 Stephane Peterhansel David Castera Mini Buggy +2 min 57 sec

8 Bernhard ten Brinke/Xavier Panseri Toyota 3 min 19 sec

9 Harry Hunt/Wouter Rosegaar Peugeot +3 min 25 sec

10 Cyril Despres/Jean-Paul Cottret Mini Buggy +4 min 25 sec