The FIA stewards have confirmed that Paul di Resta’s car has been found to be under the weight limit, and the driver has subsequently been relegated to the back of the grid.
di Resta, who is enjoying his home race this weekend, qualified an excellent 5th on Saturday, easily making it through to Q3 and leading the field behind the Mercedes-Red Bull battle that was ensuing at the front. The Scot was delighted with his performance.
“I’m over the moon with the qualifying result and I think the whole team can feel very satisfied with fifth on the grid,” di Resta said in a team statement. “The morning practice session was quite difficult so it feels great to come through and end up just behind two Mercedes and two Red Bulls.
“This track takes a lot of commitment and you need to build up your speed, but I think we saved our best till last – and that’s when it mattered.”
However, this has paled into insignificance after the stewards elected to penalize him for being 1.5kg under the weight limit, disqualifying from the session. di Resta now has the choice of starting P22 or from the pit lane.
Force India were thought to be considering an appeal, but instead opted to accept the stewards’ decision.
EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.
As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.
NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.
Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.
So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:
2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars
2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes
2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks
2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads
Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.
MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.
MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup
MORE: Stage 13 wrapup
MORE: Stage 12 wrapup
MORE: Stage 11 wrapup
MORE: Stage 10 wrapup
MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions
MORE: Stage 8 wrapup
MORE: Stage 7 wrapup
MORE: Stage 6 wrapup
MORE: Stage 5 wrapup
MORE: Stage 4 wrapup
MORE: Stage 3 wrapup
MORE: Stage 2 wrapup
MORE: Stage 1 wrapup