Following the decision of Peru to withdraw from the 2016 edition, the Dakar has leaned on its knowledge of the Argentinean and Bolivian territories to come up with an alternate route. Thanks to the unwavering support of the Argentinian government as well as of the Bolivian authorities, the new route calls for daring high speed and technical stages.
In three and a half months’ time the Dakar Rally 2016 competitors and teams will finally come together in Buenos Aires! After three weeks of intense work on the ground together with the authorities of the host countries, who have shown exceptional capability, the rally teams have been able to design a route whose features remain faithful to the values of the event in every respect.
While the dates, the number of stages and the distance of the stages will remain the same, the nature of the terrain proposed will force the competitors to employ a different driving approach and shift up one gear. There will be fewer dunes and more technical tracks on the opening three days, which will take the rally to San Salvador de Jujuy. Then, a new idea has been devised to reach Bolivia, particularly the bivouac at Uyuni, where vehicles from all the categories will come together this time. “Before arriving there, the competitors will be placed in a new marathon configuration,” explains Marc Coma, Sporting Director of the event. “We are going to set up a strict Parc Fermé at Jujuy while the support vehicles drive the long route to Uyuni. The Bolivian section maintains the feature of three days’ racing at high altitude”.
After having reached Salta for the 10 January rest day, the Dakar rally 2016 will head to Rosario by taking the route initially designed for the 2016 edition. The six stages to be contested in the foothills of the Andes were concocted precisely to offer a demanding and complicated end of the rally, with sandy stages, most notably in the Fiambala sector. The Sporting Director of the event, Marc Coma, who has recently supervised the reconnaissance for this part of the race, cautions precisely that “the idea of endurance will live up to all its meaning on these stages, because the bikes and quads will have to cope with a second marathon stage in week two. I have a feeling that changes at the sharp end of the general classification will be more than likely on these stages.”
Dakar Rally 2016 Press release