The 2018 Dakar Rally will start its 40th edition in Peru with an emphasis on care for the national heritage

On its 40th anniversary at world level and the 10th in South America, Peru has been officially presented as the venue and starting point of the 2018 Dakar Rally. The race will take place between 6th and 20th January, starting from the Peruvian capital Lima and later running through Bolivia and Argentina. Five years after the last visit to the land of the Incas by the toughest off-road rally in the world, the Dakar comes back to Peru and its majestic dunes that delighted competitors over in the 2012 and 2013 editions, and who now are saying they want to return. The 2018 Dakar will return to Peru and the Pacific Ocean with the starting gun on 6th January. The route across the country takes in 6 stages, 4 cities and 2 loop stages, with priority being given to respecting the country’s archaeological and paleontological heritage.

Peru has been chosen once again to be part of the toughest off-road rally in the world in its 2018 edition. The Dakar’s return to the land of the Incas will start in Lima on 6th January, in this great world race that brings together the best cross-country drivers and riders in its 40th anniversary and the 10th edition in South America. The majestic – and demanding – dunes of the Peruvian desert will be the first great challenge for all the competitors who will be fighting to be at the top of the podium… the same people who have been wanting to return to Peru for the last few years. This year, the new “Ferias Dakar” will also come in Peru, specifically to the city of Puno, so that the public can enjoy and share the emotion generated by the return of the Dakar.

The six stages that make up the start of the race in Peru were presented in the press conference held in Lima and attended by Etienne Lavigne (Director of the Dakar), Marc Coma (Sporting Director of the Dakar) and Eduardo Ferreyros (Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism): Lima–Pisco, Pisco–Pisco, Pisco–San Juan de Marcona, San Juan de Marcona–San Juan de Marcona, San Juan de Marcona–Arequipa and Arequipa–La Paz. The route will run through 4 cities, with two loop stages towards the south of the country.

Following the validation of the stages proposed to the Peruvian government in recent months and the first reconnaissance by Marc Coma and representatives of the Ministry of Culture and the Environment (appointed by the government), the passage of the Dakar Rally through Peru aims to create strong competition among the drivers and riders, but above all to safeguard the country’s archaeological and paleontological heritage, which means respecting the exclusion zones marked out: the paleontological site of Ocucaje, the archaeological site of Huayuri, the Nazca Lines and the paleontological site of Sacaco. “The Dakar passing through Peru, like the other host countries, is organized through various cabinet meetings and on site. The local authorities help us define the route, only where we are authorised to do so ", according to Etienne Lavigne, Dakar Rally Director.

As a result, work is already being done on a report that will be reviewed and validated by the Ministry of Culture and Environment and the Directorate for the Management of Natural Protected Areas (ANP) for the final and definitive reconnaissance of the route of the 2018 Dakar through Peru (creation of the roadbook) at the end of August this year. The organisation wants to highlight an event that is culturally and environmentally responsible towards the territory of Peru and allow strong competition along the entire route in the country. After the rally, it will send a final report to the Ministry of Culture. The Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Eduardo Ferreyros concluded by explaining that “we have taken all the necessary precautions to ensure this event has no negative impact on our cultural heritage and ecology. We must be responsible and make this race a celebration that we can all enjoy”.

In addition to fine-tuning all the details of the rally, the Dakar organizers demonstrated their solidarity with Peru, which was experiencing a crisis and an emergency due to lack of drinking water. The Dakar organizers and their partner Kärcher provided a unit to treat 13,200 litres of water a day to make it drinkable as well as a field kitchen that meets the basic needs of those affected by this natural disaster for several months.

The toughest rally in the world returns to Peru

To date, the most important rally in the world has visited 29 countries (3 in Europe, 5 in South America and 21 in Africa) and is considered the second biggest motorsport event worldwide. During the 2017 edition of the Dakar 60 nationalities took part, with 501 competitors starting out and 26% participating for the first time. The event was also followed by 4.5 million spectators along the route, with 1,200 hours broadcast on 70 TV stations.

For this edition of the Dakar, an even higher number of competitors is expected. One of them is Peruvian Nicolás Fuchs, who finished 12th in cars last January on his first appearance in the rally. It is hoped that he will repeat his success this year and that other well-known Peruvian competitors such as Felipe Ríos, Ignacio Flores, Alexis Hernández, Duro 4x4, Alta Ruta 4x4 and Proraid Peru, among others, will take advantage of their experience of the country’s roads and tracks to fight for the leading places.

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