2017 Dakar Rally
Course: 786km (cancelled)
Special: 527km (cancelled due to weather)
The sixth day of the 2017 Dakar Rally was cancelled just hours into what should have been a 786km stage, including a 527km timed special section, due to extreme weather.
Cold temperatures and driving rain met competitors early on in the day’s proceedings which was lead out by day five victor Red Bull KTM’s Sam Sunderland (Britain). It was the sixth leg between Oruro and La Paz in Bolivia and set to be the last before the event’s rest day and half-way point.
“It was a tough day, you know. Even though the second part was cancelled, we still had three hundred kilometres in the rain and the cold,” Sunderland said. “I started off with a good feeling this morning and feeling fast. I tried to really focus on the navigation. There were one or two really tricky places. Sometimes it works out ok and sometimes you have problems. Today it worked out okay for me [but] we’ve got a long way to go.”
Yamaha’s Adrien van Beveren (France), who currently sits third place in the overall standings, said he was baulked by HRC’s Joan Barreda (Spain) whose desperation to elevate himself from 12th overall may have taken its toll.
“Barreda had just turned round and was racing off in another direction,” he said. “I followed him, but after a while, I realised that it didn’t match the roadbook. The hidden way point wouldn’t open. I carried on for a while and then I thought it would be better to go back to a point where I was sure that I was on the right track.
“I headed back in the other direction for around five kilometres, then reset my trip, followed the right direction and, lo and behold, I found the correct route…”
No times or results were recorded as a result of the day’s outcomes and remain as they finished after day five, as follows.
Sunderland (GBr) 1st 1st
Gonçalves (Por) 2nd 10th
Van Beveren (Fra) 3rd 3rd
Quintanilla (Por) 7th 2nd
Smith (Aus) 15th 17th
Hart (Aus) 109th 62nd