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Dakar 2017: Stage nine cancelled following massive landslide

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A second stage in the 2017 Dakar Rally has been cancelled, what would have been Wednesday’s stage nine of 12 in the rally, Salta to Chilecito, following more brutal weather on the rally route.

This follows the stage six cancellation, which occurred before a scheduled rest day late last week. Nightly coverage of this year’s Dakar runs at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

A statement released from the Dakar Rally organizers explains the damage and the reasoning:

“A massive landslide caused by thunderstorms happened this morning at 10.30am on the road used to join the bivouac, 40 kilometers north of Jujuy, 160kms away from Salta, hitting the village of Volcan. According to the Argentinian civil security, victims are deplored in the population and considerable damage has been observed.

“The organization offered its sanitary facilities to reinforce the local safety support on site.

“As the road is cut off, most of the vehicles, competitors, assistance and logistics from the Dakar caravan were diverted on an alternative route through San Antonio de los Cobres, extending the distance of the liaison by about 200km.  They will not be able to reach the Salta bivouac in time to start the race tomorrow.

“A number of larger vehicles will not be able to use that road either.

“Tomorrow’s day will be devoted to regroup the race caravan in Chilecito to continue the event by giving the start on the 12th of January of stage 10, between CHILECITO and SAN JUAN.”

Sebastien Loeb and Sam Sunderland led in the car and bike stages at the conclusion of Tuesday’s stage eight. There would have been four stages left to complete but this cancellation drops the number to three.

BMW confirms IMSA, WEC GTE line-ups for 2018

BMW Motorsport
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BMW has confirmed its driver line-ups for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship campaigns.

In an announcement made at its end-of-year Sports Trophy event on Friday night, BMW firmed up its roster across its factory WEC team and its customer RLL Racing IMSA squad.

Two of the 2018 BMW M8 GTEs will enter the WEC next year, joining a hotly-contested GTE-Pro class that already features Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin and Ford.

BMW factory drivers Antonio Felix da Costa, Nick Catsburg, Augusto Farfus and Martin Tomczyk will share the two cars across the 13-month ‘super season’.

The quartet will be joined by Tom Blomqvist, Alexander Sims and Philipp Eng for the 24 Hours of Le Mans

In IMSA, the RLL Racing team will once again field Sims and John Edwards, who will be joined by the incoming Connor De Phillippi and Jesse Krohn.

BMW also confirmed on Friday night that Tom Blomqvist would see out the Formula E season with its Andretti-affiliated team, having been benched for Kamui Kobayashi in Hong Kong.