It’s was the culmination of months of preparations and the beginning of new challenges and aspirations for Hero Motosports Team Rally as Indian ace, C.S Santosh and Portuguese star, Joaquim Rodrigues, rolled off the ceremonial podium in front of thousands of enthusiastic fans who assembled at Parque Bicentenario in downtown Asuncion to give a warm send off to the participants. It marked the Dakar debut for the team from India and Rodrigues.
After a good night’s rest, the participants headed to the start of the short 39-km special stage which will be followed by a long transport section of 415 km that will take them to Resistencia in Argentina over the international border.
Though the short opening sprint will hardly have any bearing on the outcome in the days ahead, it will still play a crucial role in determining the starting order for the second stage on Tuesday when the real action begins. Getting a good starting position for the second special is important as it will help the frontrunners to avoid the fine chalk-like dust that gives this region its nickname “Chaco