The opening stage of the 2016 Dakar Rally has been canceled due to poor weather conditions, race officials have confirmed on Sunday.
Several attempts were made to merely delay the start from 8 a.m., then to 9 a.m. local time.
However past 10 a.m. local time, race director Étienne Lavigne confirmed the cancellation due to the poor weather. Helicopters needed to fly overhead couldn’t do so safely; those helicopters safeguard the safety of the riders and drivers.
The field will move to Villa Carlos Paz, with motorcycles and quads in a convoy, cars on their own and trucks reserved for assistance vehicles.
The delayed start follows yesterday’s accident in the prologue, where Car 360 veered off course and injured four spectators.
Despite the difficult start to this year’s event, NBCSN will have coverage of the opening stage at 5:30 p.m. ET on Monday, January 4.
As you can see below, the severe weather in Argentina would make any racing nigh-on impossible to deal with.