PERU AGAIN FIVE YEARS LATER
For its 40th edition, the 10th to be held in South America, the Dakar rally is revisiting the Pacific Ocean and the dunes of Peru, which drivers and riders will tackle after a few days sampling the delights of the capital, Lima. Competitors will then head through to Bolivia, for a welcome rest day in the festive atmosphere of La Paz. Argentinian aficionados top the podium when it comes to enthusiasm and good humour, and the most joyous of them will be waiting to acclaim the riders in Córdoba, host to the Dakar finish line for the first time.
Peru’s capital is ranked 5th among South American cities. It is especially renowned for the ancient buildings that constitute its historic centre, declared a UNESCO world heritage site. In the City of Kings, the drivers and their teammates who completed the 2012 Dakar rally were dazzled by the Plaza de Armas, to which a million supporters flocked to celebrate their feat. Aficionados also convened en masse at the waterfront in Magdalena for the 2013 trials and at the starting podium in Chorillos. A fresh opportunity to show their unfailing support now awaits.
The country’s government institutions are divided between two major cities: Sucre is home to its supreme courts. La Paz is known first and foremost for its record-breaking status as the world’s highest capital… located 3,600 metres above sea level, water boils here at 87°! Despite the region’s rarefied oxygen, there is no shortage of enthusiasm here, and Dakar rally competitors were impressed by the energy and support shown by its inhabitants during last year’s rest day.
Argentina’s second largest city is also home to one of the country’s brightest intellectual and cultural hubs. Its vibrant atmosphere is partly due to its wealth of young students: 12% of the city’s total population, one of the highest rates in the world. For rally lovers, it clearly represents one of the most prestigious stages of the world championship. Carlos Sainz secured himself a permanent place in people’s hearts here, and Sébastien Loeb turned it into one of his favourite playgrounds by notching up 8 consecutive victories between 2005 and 2013! And yet it was on the tracks here that he lost all hope of victory during the penultimate stage of the 2017 rally!