Dakar Rally 2015: Terranova leads stage 1 after Al-Attiyah penalized

Orlando Terranova and co-driver Bernardo Graue of Argentina take part in the 2015 Dakar Rally stage 1 between Buenos Aires and Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina, on Jan. 4, 2015.

FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

Sunday, Jan. 4 marked the first day of a 14-day event down in South America, as the 37th running of the Dakar Rally kicked off from Buenos Aires.

X-raid Mini driver Nasser Al-Attiyah initially won the initial 105-mile Buenos Aires to Valla Carlos Paz stage by 22 seconds, but was clocked running 68kph (42mph) in a place where a 50kph (31mph) speed limit was in place, giving him a two-minute penalty which dropped him to seventh overall.

This elevated Orlando Terranova to the top spot, who starts Monday’s 322-mile stage with a 42-second lead over former NASCAR driver Robby Gordon in his Hummer.

“It’s exactly where we wanted to be,” said Gordon. “For us the first stage was good, very conservative. We easily had a minute in our hands there but just didn’t push it. I think we’re going to be good.”

The 2014 winner, Nani Roma, had a poor start to the event, after mechanical issues early on led to his Mini being towed for the rest of the stage, dropping him to last in the standings, six hours behind the leader.

Sam Sunderland of Great Britain currently leads in the motorcycle division on his KTM.

The following video was uploaded prior to Al-Attiyah’s penalty.

Video by dakar