CHALLENGING NEW ROUTE REVEALED FOR DAKAR 2016
The organisers of the world's most grueling motorsport event, the legendary Dakar Rally, recently revealed details of the route that the race will follow during 2016. The Dakar moved to South America for the 2009 edition, which was won by current Castrol Team Toyota rally driver, Giniel de Villiers. Since moving away from Africa, the Dakar has taken place in Peru and Bolivia, with the meat of the stages in Argentina and Chile.
The new route, however, will not take place in Chile at all, after the north of the country was heavily affected by devastating floods earlier this year. As a result, the 2016 edition of the Dakar will follow a largely diagonal line across South America, starting in Lima, Peru, traversing parts of Bolivia next and ending in Rosario, Argentina.
"The new route offers a lot of challenges, and may be a lot tougher than many people expect," said Team Principal Glyn Hall after the announcement of the route. "We'll start at sea level and climb rapidly up towards Bolivia. There, in the thin air of the high plains, the crews will face a lot of sandy conditions with tricky navigation, before we descend slightly into Argentina, where the dunes will play a big role."
The final stretch to Rosario, where the 2016 edition will end, offers a variety of conditions, including river crossings and mud in the low lying areas of Argentina. Final dates for the 2016 event are yet to be announced, but it is expected that the race will again start very early in the new year.