In 2008, literally on the eve of the beginning of the rally in Lisbon, Portugal, the Dakar was cancelled after organizers received serious terrorist threats in Mauritania and felt the safety of riders and teams could not be guaranteed. The first of the Dakar Rallies in South America was held in 2009, so 2012 is the fourth time the continent has hosted the world’s most famous motorsports event. For the first time the rally will start in Lima and travel south through Peru, Argentina and Chile to Santiago.
Where did the first three South American Dakar Rallies go?
2009, 2010 and 2011 the Dakar started in Buenos Aires, travelled over the Andes into Chile then returned in a giant loop to also finish in the Argentinean capital. In 2009 the rally went to Valparaiso in Chile, in 2010 to Antofagasta and in 2011 to Arica on Chile’s northern most border with Peru. The 2012 Dakar started in Mar Del Plata (south of the capital Buenos Aires), crossed the continent from east to west then finished in Lima. Peru was the 27th country to be visited by the Dakar Rally.