NO CHILE FOR DAKAR RALLY 2016
Coming just one week before the official unveiling of the 2016 Dakar Rally route, it’s been revealed that Chile won’t host a stage next January.
Since the arrival of the Dakar on the South American Continent in 2009, Chile has occupied a central place on the routes that were mapped out.
The Atacama Desert, with regular stages at Copiapo, Iquique and Antofagasta, as well as the cities of Valparaiso and Santiago, which have respectively hosted the arrival in 2013 and 2014, are now part of the rally’s landscape.
But due to numerous natural disasters both the Chilean government and the Dakar management have decided that it will be too difficult to organise the next edition of the rally in Chile.
Flooding has severely affected the country and its inhabitants, particularly the northern regions that have traditionally hosted the rally.
Dakar Director, Etienne Lavigne details the phases that precipitated the decision to abandon a Chilean adventure this year…
“We have carefully followed the situation and hope that despite these disasters, the region of the Atacama Desert and the cities that were affected regain their vigour.
“But the many reconnaissance trips that are necessary, in collaboration with the many Chilean administrative services, cannot be carried out according to the calendar we have planned.”
The teams are already working to create the conditions for a return of the event in January 2017.
The route for the 2016 Dakar will be revealed at a presentation event in Paris on April 16.
THE DAKAR IN CHILE
- 39 stages contested since 2009
- Two final arrivals: Santiago (2013) and Valparaiso (2014)
- 1 million spectators on average on the Chilean section of the rally
- More than $400 million of media benefits (valorisation 2015)
- More than $36 million economic benefits on average per edition