Dakar Rally rookie and truck jump record-setting badass Bryce Menzies was involved in a major crash on the second day of the 14-day-long rally. Menzies, whose extensive off-road racing experience made him the best hope for an American to win this year, crashed less than four miles into today’s stage out of fourth place overall.
Fortunately, both Menzies and his codriver Peter Mortensen were okay, however, their Mini is in pieces. Both returned to the bivouac following the crash per the X-Raid team, which means they’re probably done.
Unfortunately for the X-Raid team, this isn’t their only issue today. Mini drivers Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Boris Garafulic collided after the first checkpoint. Both crews are currently waiting for assistance.
Menzies was the highest ranked Mini after the first day and just 38 seconds behind the leading Toyota of two-time Dakar winner Nasser Al-Attiyah. Surprisingly, none of the ultra-dominant Peugeot team finished the first day near the top of the standings. The top Peugeot was 13-time Dakar winner Stéphane Peterhansel in 11th. Nine-time Sébastien Loeb’s Peugeot suffered a brake failure less than two miles into the rally.
Peterhansel quickly claimed the overall lead today after complaining about poorly aimed headlights affecting his performance yesterday. But it’s only Day 2, and anything can happen at Dakar.
Update 1/7: It was initially reported that both Menzies and co-driver Peter Mortensen escaped injury. As of the day’s ending reports, however, it would seem that Mortensen has broken his ankle.
Menzies commented on the incident: “I am alright, I was more worried about my co-driver who broke his ankle. I feel really bad for the whole team. We were running on a graded road, I thought it was a smaller bump than it was and we flipped six or seven times.”