The glorious day that all desert racers have been waiting for finally arrived finally.
All the months of preparation were put into practice on the dunes around Pisco as stage one as the world's toughest rally got underway.
The opening special stage took place after a 247-kilometre liaison route brought the Dakar convoy from Lima to Pisco - then it was 84 kilometres against the clock in the dunes.
The journey south along Peru's Pacific Ocean coastline was clearly enough to bring the best out of the rally's serious competitors.
Stephane Peterhansel, a thirteen-time Dakar winner is seventh at the 41st edition of the race, which has ten stages this year.
Further familiar names such as Giniel de Villiers (SA), and Cyril Despres (FRA) could also be found in the Top 10 on stage one.
Former World Rally Championship winner Sebastien Loeb is in 13th position and is making his third appearance.
Second stage steps things up in terms of distance and difficultly. The convoy is off to San Juan de Marcona and to get there they need to complete 350 kilometres of racing against the clock.
Expect a fair amount of drama in the dunes on Tuesday as the cars lead off and are forced to make the first tracks in the sand.