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The Dakar Rally (or simply "The Dakar"; formerly known as "The ParisÃ¢â‚¬â€œDakar" or "Paris to Dakar Rally") is an annual rally raid type of off-road automobile race, organised by the Amaury Sport Organisation.
Most events since the inception in 1978 were from Paris, France, to Dakar, Senegal, but due to security threats in Mauritania, which led to the cancellation of the 2008 rally, the 2009 Dakar Rally was run in South America (Argentina and Chile). It was the first time the race took place outside of Europe and Africa. It has stayed in South America from 2009 to the present (2012). The race is open to amateur and professional entries. Amateurs typically make up about eighty percent of the participants.
History and route
The race originated in 1978, a year after racer Thierry Sabine got lost in the desert and decided that it would be a good location for a regular rally. Originally, the rally was from Paris, France, to Dakar, Senegal, interrupted by a transfer across the Mediterranean. However, due to politics and other factors, the course, including origin and destination, has varied over the years. Dakar has been the destination city on all but four occasions during the period the rally was held in Africa (i.e., prior to 2009). The event started from Paris every year from 1979 to 1994, and also in 1998 and 2001. In 1994 the rally both began and ended in Paris but, due to complaints by the mayor, the finish had to be moved from the Champs-Ãƒâ€°lysÃƒÂ©es to Euro Disney. This also caused the organisation to lay out the rally through different locations in following years.
Complete list of routes
1992: ParisÃ¢â‚¬â€œCape Town
2003: MarseilleÃ¢â‚¬â€œSharm el-Sheikh
2009: Buenos AiresÃ¢â‚¬â€œValparaÃƒÂsoÃ¢â‚¬â€œBuenos Aires
2010: Buenos AiresÃ¢â‚¬â€œAntofagastaÃ¢â‚¬â€œBuenos Aires
2011: Buenos AiresÃ¢â‚¬â€œAricaÃ¢â‚¬â€œBuenos Aires
2012: Mar del PlataÃ¢â‚¬â€œCopiapÃƒÂ³Ã¢â‚¬â€œLima
Until the 2008 terrorist attacks, more recent rallies passed through Morocco, Western Sahara and on to the grasslands and deserts of Mauritania. The segments running through Atar and the sand dunes and canyons of Mauritania's Adrar Region may be the most challenging in all off-road racing. It was the Mauritania terrorist attacks that led to the demise of the classic Dakar.
In 1992, Hubert Auriol won the Dakar in an automobile after having previously won the motorcycle competition on two occasions, making him the first driver to win on both two and four wheels. Later on, StÃƒÂ©phane Peterhansel managed to do the same. In 2001, Jutta Kleinschmidt was the first woman to win the Dakar, driving a Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero, co-driving with fellow German Andreas Schulz.
The 2008 Dakar Rally was canceled on January 4, 2008 amid fears of terrorist attacks. This caused serious doubts over the future of the rally. Various newspapers in Africa called the cancellation a "death sentence" for the race. Chile and Argentina, in South America, offered their territory to host the event, as well as the Czech Republic, or Hungary in Central Europe. The ASO finally decided to establish the Dakar Series competition, whose first event was the 2008 Central Europe Rally (Hungary-Romania), between April 20 and April 26, 2008. The 2009 event was organised in the two South American countries, between January 3 and January 18, 2009. The competition has stayed in South America from 2009 to present (2012).
List of Dakar Rally fatal accidents
1979: Patrick Dodin (Bike)
1982: Bert Osterhuis (Bike)
1983: Jean-NoÃƒÂ«l Pineau (Bike)
1986: Giampaolo Marinoni (Bike), Jasuo Kaneko (Bike)
1988: Jean-Claude Huger (Bike), Patrick Canado (Car), Kees van Loevezijn (Truck)
1991: FranÃƒÂ§ois Picquot (Car), Charles Cabannes (Truck), Laurent Le Bourgeois (Car), Jean-Marie Sounillac (Car)
1992: Gilles Lalay (Bike)
1994: Michel Sansen (Bike)
1996: Laurent Gueguen (Truck)
1997: Jean-Pierre Leduc (Bike)
2002: Daniel Vergnes (Car)
2003: Bruno Cauvy (Car)
2005: JosÃƒÂ© Manuel PÃƒÂ©rez (Bike), Fabrizio Meoni (Bike)
2006: Andy Caldecott (Bike)
2007: Elmer Symons (Bike), Eric Aubijoux (Bike)
2009: Pascal Terry (Bike)
2012: Jorge AndrÃƒÂ©s MartÃƒÂnez Boero (Bike)
Date Start Finish KM
01/01 Mar Del PlataSanta Rosa de la Pampa 856
02/01 Santa Rosa de la Pampa San Rafael 781
03/01 San Rafael San Juan 563
04/01 San Juan Chilecito 714
05/01 Chilecito Fiambala 416
06/01 Fiambala Copiapo (Deleted) 641
07/01 Copiapo Copiapo 598
09/01 Copiapo Antofagasta 686
10/01 Antofagasta Iquique 566
11/01 Iquique Arica 694
12/01 Arica Arequipa 709
13/01 Arequipa Nasca 505
14/01 Nasca Pisco 352
15/01 Pisco Lima 283