The first day of the Dakar Rally 2012 rather started on a very sad note.
Within an hour of the start, Argentinian biker Jorge Boero who was running in his 2nd Dakar Rally crashed and suffered a cardiac arrest which turned fatal.
The organizers released a special statement even before the day ended and it made for a sad start for an event which is ever more popular in Argentina.
As for the day, it had quite many surprises
Cars : Little known Russian Leonid Novitskiy won the opening stage in his Mini Countryman prepared by the X-Rail team. It was well expected for the Mini’s to do well but the anticipation was from Stephen Peterhansel who finished 3rd behind Krzysztof Holowzyc who was 2nd for the stage.
The Mini’s dominated the top 3 followed closely by Giniel de Villiers on his debutant Toyota Hilux.
Other major drivers had a bad start with defending champ Nasser Al Attiyah losing 10 minutes to mechanical problems.
Bikes : Local hero Francisco Lopez of Chile rode like wind to get the better of Marc Coma and won the opening special of 57 kms. Argentine Javier Pizzolito finished 3rd.
The real deal starts tomorrow when the vehicles hit the barren lands of South America.
Check this space for detailed overview of the Dakar Rally 2012