document : Strong start to Dakar Rally by Broadlink KTM Rally Team


Strong start to Dakar Rally by Broadlink KTM Rally Team
information supplied by: Peter Burroughes Communications 06 January 2013

Strong start to Dakar Rally by Broadlink KTM Rally Team

The all-South African Broadlink KTM Rally Team of Darryl Curtis and Riaan van Niekerk made a strong start to the 2013 Dakar Rally in South America on Saturday.

Van Niekerk, competing in his first Dakar, finished 15th in the 13-kilometre opening special stage in Pisco after a 250-kilometre liaison section from the start in Lima in Peru. He was 33 seconds behind the winner, Francisco Lopez of Chile on a KTM. Curtis, who finished 22nd in the 2012 Dakar Rally on a Broadlink KTM at his first attempt, was 25th on Saturday’s special stage, 47 seconds behind Lopez.

The two South Africans, riding KTM 450 motorcycles supplied by the KTM factory in Austria, are among 183 motorcycles competing in the 34th Dakar Rally. The full field of 449 also includes 153 cars, 75 trucks and 38 quads. The rally ends in Santiago in Chile on January 20, 8 400 kilometres from Lima, and includes 14 special stages covering 4 100 kilometres in Peru, Argentina and Chile.

“The first stage was cool, very motocross-like in the dunes around Pisco,” said Curtis. It was very hot – around 40 degrees Centigrade – and the number of spectators who turned out to watch was overwhelming. There were thousands of them at the start in Lima and they lined the road all the way down the coast to Pisco.

“I was a bit distracted by the crowds on the liaison stage and hit a curb, landing upside down. Hopefully that won’t happen again.”

Van Niekerk commented: “It was my first day on the Dakar and I’m pleased with how it went. The crowds were overwhelming – wanting to touch you and take photographs. Tomorrow will be the first real test with lots of dunes.”
Sunday’s 242-kilometre special stage two follows an 85-kilometre liaison section and will see competitors immediately thrown a stiff challenge of sand dunes and hot temperatures. They will return to Pisco for a second night.

Image: Darryl Curtis

Ends

Issued on behalf of Darryl Curtis and Riaan van Niekerk by Peter Burroughes Communications, telephone 082 899 0101, e-mail bowtie@iafrica.com.
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