The 34th version of the extreme off-road race called Dakar Rally begun January 5 in Lima, and will end January 20 in Santiago de Chile. This is a grueling 8,400 Km trek over three countries.
The first version of the Dakar Rally took place in 1979-80 and covered rough terrain between Paris, France and Dakar, Senegal, with a transfer across the Mediterranean. Subsequent versions had involved departures from Senegal, France and from other European countries including Spain and Portugal, and finish in African countries in cities of Senegal, South Africa and Egypt.
Following multiple complaints from authorities over environmental issues, threats of terrorist attacks, criticisms and security concerns in the countries along the route and at both ends of the race, the rally was cancelled in 2008. Since 2009, the competition, still called Dakar Rally, has been organized in South America, mostly in Argentina and Chile, and from 2011, also including Perú. So far, the race has claimed the life of 60 people, mostly spectators, but also including 25 competitors.
Dakar Rally 2013
The 2013 Dakar Rally begun in Lima, Perú on January 5. It will cross into Chile on January 9, later on to Argentina on Jan. 11, back to Chile, across the Andes Mountains, to the city of Copiapó on the 17, ending in Santiago de Chile on Jan. 20.
The 2013 version of the demanding long-distance race involves 449 vehicles in three categories, 221 motorbikes (including 38 quads), 153 cars and 75 trucks. It also involves thousands of people including judges and overseers, mechanics, security, medical and other support personnel, reporters and spectators along the route extending for 8,400 kilometres mostly in desert areas of the three countries.