➢ Edition 41 of the Dakar will be contested from January 6th to 17th 2019, on a giant loop rally-route entirely in Peru with the start and finish in Lima.
➢ Mapped around the Peruvian deserts, the 2019 Dakar promises to be one of the sandiest in the history of the rally. While the expanded visit to the country will offer a healthy portion of dunes it will also feature a variety of terrain that will suit all riding and driving styles.
➢ Registrations begins on May 21st.
This past January, the Dakar community was treated to a warm but demanding return to Peru, where they sometimes painfully discovered desert expanses as sumptuous as complicated to take on. The dunes in the Ica and Tanaka regions obliged humility and several rally-raid stars from Sébastien Loeb to Sam Sunderland, Nani Roma or Sergei Kariakin learned a costly lesson. The ten-stage rally-route of the 2019 edition will provide every competitor the opportunity to calm their nerves and work on their endurance in the sand. Each stage will be harder than the previous, which will create a suspense filled battle just until the final days. The predominantly sandy rally-route, on open terrain, will also feature every imaginable navigation subtlety. The new regions will complete the range of rally-raid constraints with faster tracks more tailored to pure racers. Having the skill to master it all will be the key for a successful return to Lima.
Dakar Semi-Marathon : the second chance
The Dakar can every now and then be cruel with the bravest and most motivated competitors sometimes suffering a mechanical breakdown, or an accident, or getting stuck in a dune that leads to withdrawal after only a few hundred kilometres. In 2019, the cars, SxS and trucks stopped by such an incident in the opening week will be able to re-join the rally beginning on the rest day and return to the competition in a distinct classification and in respecting the strict conditions that guarantee fair-play, especially as it concerns the starting order of the special stages.
So the organisers, ASO, found a way round their problem with the 2019 Dakar. It is clear that there would have had to be some give and take on both sides for the event to be able to continue with its 40th edition. Fact remains however, that the 2019 edition will be a watered down version of what we have become used to over the years. We will also have to wait and see if the event will draw the number entries the Dakar is used to getting. But at least ASO was able to salvage something out out the predicament they found themselves in and still make some money.
Andries van der WALT – Editor