Two-time Dakar Rally winner Nasser Al-Attiyah has set the early pace on the short opening stage to the 2018 edition of the iconic endurance event as he heads up a Toyota 1-2, while brake trouble saw Sebastien Loeb tumble down the order.

Al-Attiyah completed the opening stage from Lima to Pisco in Peru in 21m51s to open up an early 25-second advantage over Toyota team-mate Bernhard ten Brinke with Borgward’s Nicolas Fuchs in third 34 seconds off the leader.

While the majority of the big names got through the opening day unharmed, Loeb was the biggest loser losing over five-and-a-half minutes to brake problems to see him sink to 27th. With Sunday hosting the first marathon stage of the event, Loeb will have plenty of miles to close the gap but was visibly frustrated at effectively picking up a five-minute handicap on his main rivals on day one.

Defending two-wheel Dakar Rally champion Sam Sunderland clinched victory on the opening day for KTM with a 33-second lead on Adrien van Beveren on the Yamaha.

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