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Dakar 2009: Argentina Chile - and the curtain unveils.

The African Dakar is dead, long live the South American one! The Dakar spirit is there. Under a new slogan "same adventure, new location" a presentation of Dakar 2009 was held in Paris on May 13. The 15 stages of the legendary Dakar are moved to South America for reasons well known.

As it becomes increasingly clear, Latin America is able to offer similar or perhaps more difficult tracks and routes for a Dakar-type competition. On a 9000-km route, a range fully comparable to the Dakar, competitors will cover over 6,000 km of special stages, which is a classic Dakar set.

The organizing A.S.O. took a wise decision to hold the administrative and technical scrutineerings for the European participants still in Europe at he French port of Le Havre on November 26-27. All competitors will ship their vehicles immediately for a 6-week voyage to Buenos Aires. The second part of the scrutineering will be organized mainly for non-European teams in Buenos Aires at "La Rural" palace.

On January 3, 2009 the official start of the rally will be held at the Republic Square in Buenos Aires and the first stage will be run. The initial stages will head southwards to the Patagonia region for long, fast and stony stretches. The entire convoy will slow down crossing the Andes range to Chile where they will enjoy a rest day in the city of Valparaiso. The second half of the rally, 8 stages long will head to the Atacama desert where navigators and dune specialists will be given a chance to prove their class. For the lucky ones, the finish of the clockwise loop at Buenos Aires on January 18 will be the well deserved reward. After 15 race days, Buenos Aires will welcome all finishers.

The first wave of application can be sent as early as in two days. Dakar 2008 participants will be given priority. The wheels of the legendary Dakar, hurt but not collapsed after the infamous events of January 4, 2008 start spinning again. The start is far from now but we all believe that all of us are going to be part of it again, just like we’ve always been.

2008/06/07 | 13:59 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Loprais

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