The Colombian team in the 2012 Dakar Rally are to be disqualified, after failing to successfully complete the second stage of the race, according to newspaper El Espectador.
The Dakar Rally, an annual off-road endurance race, sees drivers take heavily equipped off-road vehicles across sand dunes, mud, camel grass and rocks over the two weeks of the rally.
Sources from Argentina, where stage three of the rally is currently taking place, have reported that the Colombian crew — comprising driver Juan Manuel Linares and co-driver Andres Campuzano — went missing during stage two of the race, finally being located Tuesday morning over eight miles from the starting point of stage three.
The deadline for beginning stage three was Monday, which means that the Colombian drivers will now be disqualified from the race. The distances covered in each stage can be up to 560 miles, with competitors driving for up to 15 hours per day. 122 crews are reported to have successfully progressed to stage three of the race.
The incident marks a repeat of last year’s events for Colombian driver Linares, who went missing during stage one of the 2011 race, while this was co-driver Campuzano’s first time to compete. The rally is open to both amateurs and professionals, with amateurs typically making up abut 80% of competitors.
Traditionally traversing a route from Paris, France to Dakar, Senegal, the Dakar Rally was relocated to South America in 2009 due to security threats in Mauritania. For the third year running the rally is taking a route that runs through Argentina, Chile and Peru.