Bolivia will be on the itinerary for the 2014 edition of the Dakar Rally for the first time, albeit just for the motorbikes and quadbikes, organisers announced Wednesday.
The 2014 Dakar will kick off on January 5 in Rosario, Argentina, and finish in the Chilean city of Valparaiso on January 18.
But for the first time, competitors will bivaouac in two different countries as the cars and lorries bypass Bolivia and remain in Argentina and Chile, "for geographical and logisitical reasons", according to organiser Etienne Lavigne.
Bolivia becomes the fourth South American country (after Argentina, Chile and Peru) to be included on the Dakar route since the gruelling event was relocated from Africa in 2009. Peru will miss out in 2014.
The towns hosting stages will be unveiled to the relevant countries at the start of April, with the definitive course made public in November.- AFP
I saw that this morning too and I am wondering what it means as far as the route. No Peru.. although last year Peru was somewhat of a nightmare.
Biggest thing I noticed was that the cars won't go thru Boliva, just the bikes. Why add it then?
Thanks for the update Jaci. I'm curious about the route as well.
What car is RG going to use for 2.014 Dakar? Still with the Hummer?
Back to 2009-2011 it appears with the early stages being WRC-like, twisty mountain roads in the middle, saving the desert and dune stages for the end. Hopefully this will give the Mini's an insurmountable early lead. Or, perhaps an announcement that Citroën is returning with Sebastien Loeb?
It's possible that the organizers have chosen a route that favors factory models over buggies, as a means to encourage continued factory engagement in the Rally. "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday" and all that.
As much as I love seeing Robby give all the entrants a run for their money, I can also understand where the organizers might not want to see the Daker turn into a buggy race. To be honest, given the relative success of last year's buggy entrants, I'm surprised that they've not yet taken steps to slow them down.
Favoring factory backed entrants is complete opposite of Thierry Sabine's intent and vision for the Dakar Rally. In everything I've read about Sabine, he strongly discouraged the rally from becoming a showcase for a manufacturer since factory backed teams are only a small percentage of the entries.