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Montevideo, March 21st 2023 - 23:32 UTC



Dakar Rally 2009 will be held in Argentina and Chile

Tuesday, February 12th 2008 - 20:00 UTC
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Argentina and Chile will host the 2009 Dakar Rally after this year's race was cancelled because of safety concerns. The 2008 rally was called off in January after four French tourists were murdered in Mauritania on 24 December. An optional version will take place in Central Europe in April.

The event's organizers the Amaury Sport Organization said there had been "direct threats against the race issued by terrorist groups". French sports daily L'Equipe which broke the news said that next year's race will start and finish in Buenos Aires featuring 6.000 kilometers of special stages over a 9.000 km-long course, details of which are set to be unveiled in Buenos Aires on Tuesday. "Signing-up priority will be given to the Dakar 2008 competitors" said Etienne Lavigne, director of the Dakar Rally. Competitors will be able to sign up for the race from 15 May. Dominique Serieys, head of Mitsubishi Motorsport, the sporting subsidiary of the Japanese manufacturer unbeaten on the Dakar since 2001, said the announcement that the 2009 edition would go ahead in South America was timely. "It's good news, one month after the cancellation of the 2008 rally," said Serieys. "Mitsuibishi will announce its decision at the end of February or beginning of March. In principle we're very interested". "It was necessary to take a break in Africa given the geopolitical context there. The fact the resumption is on a new continent is good news. "We've already taken part in the Atacama Rally and the Las Pampas Rally. Chile and Argentina are countries where there are great varieties of terrain. "Bearing in mind we don't know the exact details of Dakar 2009, I would think it will make for a very difficult course. But that's great, we want a testing course". Meantime ASO said that this year's canceled African Dakar Rally will move to Central Europe and be held April 20th through 26th in Romania and Hungary, offering a markedly different venue for an event that would otherwise be held in the arid landscape of the Sahara. The Central Europe Rally will cover some 3,000 kilometers over the course of six days, with around half of the competitions taking place on special stages. While the title is different, all the big name teams from Dakar will be in attendance, including BMW, KTM, Mitsubishi, Schlesser and Volkswagen.

Categories: Tourism, International.

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