2009 Dakar Rally to be held in Argentina and Chile

As we reported last week, the Amaury Sport Organization that has held the annual Dakar Rally uninterrupted since 1979 has forged ahead after this year's event was cancelled an account of terrorist threats. They've already announced a new schedule of events called the Dakar Series that will kick off with the Central Europe Rally to be held April 20-26 in Romania and Hungary, and now they've gotten around to picking the venue for next year's official Dakar Rally.
The fine nations of Argentina and Chile will be the new location for the 2009 Dakar Rally. The 9000 kilometer-long rally will be held January 3-18 and use the city of Buenos Aires as its start and finish line. Competitors who have raced in previous Dakar rallies in Africa as well as rallies in South America are surmising that the relocated Dakar event could actually be more difficult than it was before, which is fine with them. Mitsubishi, which has won the Dakar Rally every year since 2001, is also interested in competing again, and all the competitors quoted by the AFP seem genuinely impressed that the ASO has moved so quickly to reestablish the race and grow a new series just one month after the 2008 Dakar Rally was cancelled.

[Source: Associated Free Press, Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty]

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