JAN 23, 2018

American off-road star Bryce Menzies got a strong start at the legendary Dakar rally until a massive crash cut short his debut.

The Dakar rookie set a fourth-place pace in his Red Bull John Cooper Works Buggy in the opening stage, but just six miles into the second stage, he hit a deceptive looking bump in the desert and rolled end-over-end multiple times. He was not injured, while co-driver Pete Mortensen suffered an injury to his foot and is expected to fully recover. The vehicle was destroyed.

Despite the disappointing early exit from the race, the multi-time off-road racing champion said he plans to return to South America next year to try again. “We’ll go home and regroup, and have a whole year to plan and come back even stronger than we did this year,” Menzies told

The longtime KMC Wheels driver has excelled in American short-course off-road racing and in the deserts of Baja and has long set his sights on the Dakar event, calling it a lifelong dream. Although he was originally set to contest the race in 2017, he was forced to delay when he fractured his shoulder during a record setting truck jump stunt.

The 2018 Dakar event ran January 6 to 20, with 14 scheduled stages in Peru, Argentina and Bolivia. Spanish veteran Carlos Sainz clinched overall victory for Peugeot, while KTM rider Matthias Walkner has secured victory in the bike category.

(PHOTO: Red Bull Content Pool)

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