Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah wins stage one then hits trouble

Two-time Dakar Rally winner Nasser Al-Attiyah set the pace on the opening stage of the 2017 edition, before his Toyota caught fire on the road section

Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah wins stage one then hits trouble

The event officially opened with a looping run from Paraguay capital Asuncion to Argentinian city Resistencia on Monday.

Of the 282 miles making up the path between the two locations, the timed section was just 24 miles early on and was located entirely in Paraguay as the country's only special stage of the event.

Al-Attiyah set the pace in the car section, completing the timed section in 25m41s.

But an oil leak then caused a fire on the left front corner of his Toyota Hilux and he had to be towed by his Gazoo South Africa team-mate Giniel de Villiers.

Closest to Al-Attiyah through the timed section was ex-World Rally Championship driver Xevi Pons, the Spaniard finishing 24 seconds adrift in his Ford Ranger.

Nani Roma, who, like Al-Attiyah, has switched from X-raid Mini to Toyota ahead of this year's rally, was a close third.

Carlos Sainz led the Peugeot contingent in fourth, split from stablemate Sebastien Loeb by de Villiers.

Peugeot's other two works entrants - Cyril Despres and 2016 winner Stephane Peterhansel, who opened the stage - were eighth and 12th respectively.

Yazeed Al-Rajhi was the quickest X-raid Mini driver in seventh, 1m06s off Al-Attiyah and 14s ahead of team-mate Mikko Hirvonen in ninth.

LEADING POSITIONS AFTER STAGE ONE:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Nasser Al-Attiyah Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 25m41.s
2 Xavier Pons DMAS South Racing Ford 24.s
3 Nani Roma Overdrive Toyota Toyota 29.s
4 Carlos Sainz Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 33.s
5 Giniel de Villiers Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 41.s
6 Sebastien Loeb Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 55.s
7 Yazeed Al-Rajhi X-Raid Mini John Cooper Works Rally Team Mini/BMW 1m06.s
8 Cyril Despres Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 1m14.s
9 Mikko Hirvonen X-Raid Mini John Cooper Works Rally Team Mini/BMW 1m20.s
10 Erik van Loon Vanloon Racing Toyota 1m22.s

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