Day zero, as it were, of the Dakar Rally is behind us. The Prologue stage is done and dusted. With such an open and competitive field, there’s no clear favorite just yet; three different teams populated the top three times.
The Audi camp will be feeling conflicting emotions. Mattias Ekström secured free choice of starting position on Saturday, having gone fastest on Friday. But at the opposite end of the scale is Carlos Sainz: he got lost in dust and was 48th, putting him behind a group of less powerful machines that he’ll have to catch and pass on the first stage.
Reigning champions Toyota were second-quickest with their newly promoted youngster Seth Quintero, a product of Red Bull’s junior team in the SSV ranks. And starting third on Saturday will be Sébastien Loeb in the lead BRX Hunter.
An epic 14-day adventure awaits; even Loeb admits he is feeling nervous, having spoken to Colin Clark earlier today.
Immerse yourself in the Dakar prologue stage with Colin’s stage-side catch-up with the drivers below.