It is said the mascot wished Sierlecki luck and “conveyed the values of Pan American sports” such as excellence, friendship and respect.
Peru’s Sierlecki has raced on the World Rally Championship circuit since 2009 and has driven the Dakar Rally twice before.
During this year’s event, which started today, he will wear Lima 2019 branding.
The race is set to end on January 17.
“To compete in the Dakar Rally and the Lima 2019 Games, all Peruvian athletes are training very hard,” he said, having been named as an ambassador for the Games in June 2017.
The race is split into 10 stages and will see the participating drivers cover a total of 5,000 kilometres.
In total 534 drivers from 61 countries have started the race.
Last year the car division was won by Spain’s Carlos Sainz alongside his co-driver Lucas Cruz.
The Dakar Rally traditionally travelled from Paris to Senegal’s capital Dakar, but it has taken place in South America since 2009 due to security concerns in Mauritania.
This year’s race begins and ends in Lima.
Source: Inside the Games