The Amaury Sport Organization, which organizes the 30-year-old Dakar off-road automobile race, has released details of the Dakar 2010 South American rally.
“The Dakar,” as it is known by fans, began in 1978 as a partially crazy off-road race from Paris to Dakar in Senegal, Africa. But, as Wikipedia notes, “due to political instability in Africa, the 2009 Dakar Rally was run in South America, the first time the race took place outside of Europe and Africa.”
Last year the race took place in Argentina and Chile. In January the race, which is often dominated by French off-road specialists, had its first tragedy in Argentina after the French motorcycle fanatic Pascal Terry was found dead in the middle of the rally.
From the official Dakar site:
“The 2010 course, designed in an anti clockwise loop, will rapidly set to the north: the first act will value the competitors more suited to hard soil. After crossing the Andes, the stay of the rally in Chile will be mainly focused on a wide discovery of the Atacama Desert, with five sand stages, almost no liaisons and a journey all the way to the city of Iquique. The return trip towards the Argentinean capital will allow appreciating the diversity of mountains and territories of the continent: in this third act, the terrains offered will finish off testing the resistance of the competitors and the vehicles.”