Dakar Rally goes back to Peru as 2016 route unveiled

Peru has stepped in to the void left by Chile’s withdrawal as a regular host of the Dakar Rally, by securing the rights to stage the opening rounds of the 2016 edition of the annual motorsport event.

Chile this month stepped back from the 2016 Dakar Rally, stating the funds needed to stage the event would be better used to repair damage caused by flash floods that hit the northern, desert region of the South American country.

Chile has played a key role in the Dakar Rally since its arrival on the continent in 2009 following a move from its traditional home in Africa owing to security concerns. However, Dakar Rally organiser, Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), has now unveiled the full route for next year’s event.

The 2016 Dakar Rally will open in Peru on January 3 with a stage from Lima to Pisco. It will stay in Peru for a further three days before heading to Bolivia from January 7-8. The finale of the 2016 Dakar Rally will be held in Argentina from January 9-16, with the event concluding in Rosario. Argentina and Bolivia, along with Chile, hosted this year’s edition from January 4-17.

Commenting on Argentina’s partnership with the Dakar Rally, event director Etienne Lavigne said: “The quality of the links uniting the Dakar and Argentina makes it the only country to have hosted every edition of the Dakar held in South America. This country and most especially the Minister of Tourism, Enrique Meyer, helped us to get the event back on its legs during a delicate transition period and has since shown a loyalty that is very close to our heart.”