Dakar Rally opening stage cancelled due to weather

January 3, 2016

ROSARIO, Argentina — , a day after 10 people were injured when a car crashed into spectators.

Thunderstorms and heavy rain prompted organizers to scrap the scheduled 600-kilometer plus route from Rosario to Villa Carlos Paz, with the conditions grounding safety helicopters and leaving parts of the course flooded.

“The Dakar doesn’t stop when it rains but when it’s not possible to guarantee the normal security presence” for the rally, race director Etienne Lavigne told AFP.

“The weather conditions are very bad. The relay plane (which helps with radio communications) was unable to fly. Helicopters can’t take off. The situation isn’t going to improve in terms of visibility,” he added.

The first stage was supposed to include a 258 km timed special for cars and a 227 km section for motorcycles, but the entire field instead travelled to Cordoba under link section conditions.

The weather is again expected to have an impact on Monday’s stage, with Lavigne admitting it could be shortened by at least 150 kilometres.

“It is going to rain for much of the night and then again during the afternoon,” he said.

“There are several solutions: move the departure point, shorten the special sections so as not to be bothered by the rain. The objective is to maintain security.”

The 38th edition of the Dakar Rally, which will cover more than 9,300 km across Argentina and Bolivia, commenced with Saturday’s prologue which was “neutralied” and then immediately suspended after a crash involving the Mini of Chinese driver Guo Meiling left 10 people hurt.

A 10-year-old boy and his father were seriously injured and underwent surgery overnight, with Lavigne adding both were in a “stable condition.”

However, Lavigne said the condition of a third man “deteriorated in the night” with doctors offering a “guarded prognosis.”

You may be interested

Therapeutic abortion, part II: paper vs. practice
Therapeutic Abortion
338 views
Therapeutic Abortion
338 views

Therapeutic abortion, part II: paper vs. practice

Paula Umaña - February 22, 2018

Part II of a three-part series published in English at The Tico Times by permission of journalism student Paula Umaña;…

Costa Rican scientists discover new bacteria
Science & Tech
514 views
Science & Tech
514 views

Costa Rican scientists discover new bacteria

Katherine Stanley - February 22, 2018

You know you've made it when you've got a strain of Listeria named after you. "Listeria costaricensis" is the official…

Panama firm pleads guilty in FIFA corruption scandal
FIFA
405 views
FIFA
405 views

Panama firm pleads guilty in FIFA corruption scandal

AFP - February 22, 2018

NEW YORK – A Panamanian company that imports and exports soccer uniforms pleaded guilty on Wednesday in New York to…