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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Chileans offer DAKAR replacement locales


DAKAR in CHILE, South America?


The head of Chilean Tourism, Oscar Santelices, has offered up his homeland as a possible venue for the recently cancelled Dakar Rally. The grueling event, which was recently cancelled due to terrorist threats, might be rescheduled in a different location sometime in February and Chile is now in the running with Australia, China and Russia.If the event would take place in Chile, parts of the race would be held through the northern Atacama Desert, apparently the world's driest arid landsacape, and the local for the annual Patagonia-Atacama rally. We're sure that Santelices offer is more than just a goodwill gesture, considering the amount of revenue the event could provide, however, he made it clear to local media that no financial support would be offered from the government.
Chile is pointing out it has the required safety, infrastructure and geography to hold such an event. Argentina and some Central European countries have also indicated they were interested in hosting the 30th anniversary race. Arica to Lebu anyone? Prague to Sofia?
Darren Skilton, ASO representative to the United States, said a "Gift" race will be offered to those racers who were to participate in this years 2008 DAKAR Rally. The race will be an 8-day journey throughout central Europe to give back to the racers who put an extrordinary amount of time and effort into this years rally.The race is said to be held in the spring. Skilton also mentioned that there will be a DAKAR Rally in 2009 but it most likely will not be held in Africa.
Baja Racing News.com