Meeke bounces back from day one Dakar drama
By Adam Hall
Kris Meeke has completed the Dakar Rally’s second stage, Bisha - Wadi Ad-Dawasir, in just over five and a half hours. It is his first time to successfully reach the end of a Dakar stage after stopping on Sunday’s opener.
Meeke finished Dakar’s 457-kilometre test 20th in the lightweight category. He had been threatening the top ten before getting lost for 15 minutes on the penultimate split. Monday's stage included 30 kilometres of dunes in the first third of the route from Bisha to Wadi Ad-Dawasir.
The Northern Irishman’s Dakar got off to a troubling start on Sunday when he was forced to stop before the sixth waypoint on the opening stage. Meeke had been leading the T3 category after the first hour of Jeddah - Bisha but it all came to an end when the PH-Sport Zephyr’s spare tyre caught fire and damaged electrics.
The damage was fixed overnight to let Meeke to continue his debut Dakar adventure. The time loss meant he was the last to start Tuesday’s stage, running in the dust of his competitors. The 2021 Dakar Rally continues on Wednesday with a 403 km blast through the “pure, unadulterated desert” around Wadi Ad-Dawasir.