The Dakar rally, 40 years old and still humming

The Dakar rally, 40 years old and still humming

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It does not forbid to dream, Etienne Lavigne, preparing in 2017, the 40e anniversary of the Dakar rally. The organizer of the race evoked the possibility of a exceptional edition visiting five or six countries in South America.A utopia panoramic, reality as always is in charge of crop : the Dakar 2018 will only jump two borders before reaching the 20 January in Cordoba (Argentina), after crossing the Bolivia and mainly explored the sands of Peru that launched the cirque mechanics Saturday in Lima.The return of this country in the event after four years of absence is enough, however, to console the organizer. Its geography ensures beautiful images of racing cars in the dunes, ideal to pander to the nostalgic memory of the drift ones will be silted african yesterday. Illustrations perfect for a Dakar which is obviously no longer quite the same, but not totally different. And displays, both good and bad, forty vrombissante.” sprint long distance “The anniversary is an opportunity to revisit the pages gold of yesteryear, and of course, the supporters of the ” it was better before “ will regret the odyssey of pioneers who challenged the deserts of Africa during déboussolantes steps. They are far removed from the exploits of the brothers Bernard and Claude Marreau, clunky in their 4L do-it-yourself in 1980, and winners improbable at the wheel of their Renault 20 turbo 1982.> To read : 1978-2018, forty years of adventure sportsLike other sporting adventures in the long course, the Dakar is professionalized, cropping out over time the wings of chance. the ” The Dakar has changed. It became a sprint long-distance. Everyone rolls to block “ summed up this weekend in the daily newspaper Team Stéphane Peterhansel, the holder of 13 wins on the event.A number of candidates in declineThe number of candidates able to sustain this rhythm and bring together the massive budgets needed to rub in the myth is affected necessarily. In 1988, 603 vehicles lining up on the starting line. Twenty years later, at the time of an ultimate edition african ultimately cancelled due to lack of security related to the terrorist threat, the start list there were 550 runners.Since the move in South America, the number of participants tumbles : 443 cars, trucks, motorcycles and quads incurred in 2012, 318 only in the last year. Fall, however, reversed this year, with 342 vehicles present in Lima.The organisers want to believe in a rebound, the result of the efforts made in 2017. The edition 2017 on the back of steps focusing on the navigation with profit : a thriller full to the end, to the image of the duel car won by Stéphane Peterhansel with five small minutes ahead of Sébastien Loeb. The same intention is at work this year with the steps the peruvian “old-fashioned” : a lot of sand and off-piste. Renewed interest in the insured ?hundreds of millions of euros in economic benefits expectedBy landing on another continent, the Dakar was playing big, but after ten years of stay in South America, it is clear that the test went to get a second wind, which owes much to the enthusiasm of the new country visited. To welcome the caravan of the rally (1 to 100 vehicles in total, seven helicopters and four airplanes), they pay out according to the steps on their soil between 2.5 and 6.7 million euros, providing 20 % of the funding of the rally.The game worth the candle if one is to believe the local governments. This year, the bill for six steps amounted to 5 million euros for Peru. But the ministry of foreign trade and tourism of peru provides to be able to count on 1.5 million spectators and € 291 million in economic benefits. For three steps, the Bolivia from its side forward the figure of € 124 million.the Dakar, “eco-friendly” ?Observation : the image of the Dakar in South America is without common measure with that, degraded, that still prevails on the other side of the Atlantic. The Dakar, a large barnum shifted relative to the environmental requirements today ?” I do not say that the Dakar is green, but I say simply that it is eco-friendly “, repeated envi Etienne Lavigne, who put forward the specifications of binding in the matter imposed by the host countries, the management of waste on the bivouacs and the carbon offsetting of 100 000 to 120 000 € paid annually by the organization to an association fighting against the deforestation of the Amazon.The organizers cross also fingers : for the first time since its installation in South America, the race last year has deplored no victims.to read : The Dakar, a zero risk could not rallyThen of course, the Dakar blast today candles that are not yet those of the reconquest of the general public. But it is still there, at least for aficionados of mechanical sports. A race still not quite like the others.—————The bad start, Sébastien LoebThe dunes, even dunes. The first stages in peru for the Dakar 2018 are a nod to the epics in africa yesterday. Mountains of sand along the Pacific to those perched at over 1,500 m above sea level towards the Andes mountains, the off-track is often on the program.These are not the conditions that prefers to Sébastien Loeb who, on Peugeot, hope to win finally. On Saturday, the French, betrayed by his brakes, has completed 29e and has already lost more than five minutes on the winner qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah.

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