The 2014 Dakar Rally will be the 35th running of the event and the sixth successive year that the event is held in South America.
2014 Dakar Rally Route replaces Peru with Bolivia. The event will start in Rosario, Argentina on January 5 and finish in Valparaiso, Chile on January 18 after thirteen stages of competition, which will comprise a total distance of over 8,500 kilometres.
This year the Dakar Rally is continuing its exploration of the Andes regions by organising a visit to Bolivia. No doubt that this challenging stage will test the off-road endurance qualities of the drivers and teams.
Some 450 vehicles in four classes of competition are expected to start the event. How many of them will finish?
The route, which will pass through North West Argentina’s canyons and sandy valleys, Salar de Uyuni, or the dunes of the Atacama Desert will require skilful driving as well the careful management of mechanical aspects. With longer special stages and several marathon stages, the 2014 Dakar’s competitors will constantly be required to tackle extreme endurance conditions.
For the first time in the history of the Dakar rally, Bolivia will set the scene for a marathon stage with the motorcycle riders’ bivouac on the Salar de Uyuni salt flats.
The competitors are looking forward to the challenge facing the motorcycle riders in the seventh stage of the rally, right in the heart of the world’s largest salt flat.
As pointed out by Etienne Lavigne, director of the Dakar: “The riders in the motorcycle category will come up against a stage that stands out both for its beauty and for its toughness. Even at the end of the day they will be left to their own resources, since it will be a marathon stage where they’ll only be allowed to get assistance from other riders. This is the sort of ultimate challenge we like to see in rally raids…”