The Dakar Rally is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious sports events in the world. Since its inception in 1978, the rally is known for its undaunting spirit of adventure, a dedicated passion for sports and a message of friendship.
Over the course of 40 years, the rally has given birth to countless stories of human achievement and success. Though originally the rally route was from Paris, France to Dakar, Senegal in Africa, security issues have led the organizers to shift the venue to South America since 2009.
2019 is unique in the history of the Dakar Rally as this year the route is restricted to a single nation of the continent—Peru. Initially, Chile was expected to be co-host along with Peru, but it didn’t materialize at the last moment. Other South American countries also refused to host the rally due to the financial constraints.
The Dakar 2018 was held in Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina and had 14 stages of competition. A total number of 335 bikes, quads, cars, trucks and UTVs took part in it. It began in Lima, Peru and ended in Argentina after running through Bolivia.
The 2019 Dakar Rally
This year, the 41st edition of the Dakar Rally is expected to be a much bigger success. According to the Rally Director Etienne Lavigne, the Peruvian tracks and the stunning landscape with beaches and dunes will attract strong participation. The Peruvian Government has already declared the upcoming Rally to be an ‘Event of National Interest’.
The rally is scheduled to be flagged off on January 6 in Lima and to finish on January 17 in the same place. The organizers have revealed that the Dakar 2019 will have 10 stages of the competition and a rest day.
Peru is going to be a rough and difficult terrain for the rally-drivers and bikers. It is believed that 70% of the stages will run through sand and dunes which is unprecedented in the history of Dakar. The organizers promise that the Dakar 2019 will be its sandiest edition. The treacherous Peruvian deserts, their hot climate and sand walls will take the struggle between the man and wilderness to its extreme and ensure that the Rally becomes one of the craziest adventures of the world.
The dunes in the Ica and Tanaka regions pose grave challenges to the riders; in previous editions of the rally famous rally-riders like Sebastian Loeb, Nani Roma or Sergei Kariakin had learned tough lessons while running through the regions.
It is promised that each stage of the 2019 Rally will be tougher than the previous one. The open, sandy terrain will provide an ample scope of navigational subtleties and creative moves for the competitors.
The 41st edition will also have the option for the participants in the car and truck groups to rejoin the race in the second week after retiring in the first week. However, the bikers and the quad-riders will not be able to enjoy this option.