From fourth to fini.
That appears to be the case for American racer Bryce Menzies in the 40th Dakar Rally.
Menzies was an impressive fourth in the Cars class in the Rally’s opening round on Saturday.
But shortly into Stage 2 Sunday morning outside Pisco, Peru – just four miles into what was to be a 173-mile route for the day – Menzies and co-driver Peter Mortensen flipped their Mini – barrel rolling several times, according to witnesses.
From photos on social media, the Mini appears totaled and unable to be repaired.
Menzies and Mortensen were uninjured, and returned to their camp, their 2018 bid over before it ever really got started.
Menzies was fourth after Saturday’s 31-mile Stage 1, just 38 seconds behind leader and two-time Dakar winner Nasser Al-Attiyah.
With Menzies done, there remain just five other USA competitors in the Rally, all in the Motorcycle class. There are no other American competitors in any of the other three classes (Truck, Quad, SxS UTV).
Saturday’s Punta del Este ePrix did not disappoint, with Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne and Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi engaging in a thrilling battle throughout the entire race.
Vergne led the way from the pole, having been promoted up the grid after original pole sitter di Grassi was ruled to have cut a chicane during his pole lap, but di Grassi was right on the back wing of Vergne the entire way and made several attempts to get by.
The intense battle between the two, which saw them nearly lock Vergne’s rear wing with di Grassi’s front nose, stayed remarkably clean for the most part, and Vergne was able to hold off all of di Grassi’s advances, a few of which can be viewed below, to take the win.
DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird was also on the charge, the British driver coming from ninth on the grid to take third.
Full race results can be viewed here. The victory sees Vergne extend his points lead over Mahindra Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist, who finished fifth, to 30 points, with Vergne on 109 markers and Rosenqvist on 79.
Bird sits third with 76 points, respectively.