The 39th Dakar Rally started today as the traditional press conference to officially unveil the route details for 2017 took place in Paris, France.
- 39th Dakar Rally runs January 2-14
- 12 stages total 8818 kilometres
- 146 motorcycles are entered
- Toby Price is the bike champion
Competitors and industry folk packed the floor to hear first hand what lays in store for the most challenging and toughest motorsport adventure race in South America.
Three hundred and sixteen vehicles will take to the road of the 2017 Dakar Rally. The motorcycle category is once again the most dominant category, almost doubling that of the cars.
In total 146 bikes plus 37 quads will take to the start line next January in Paraguay.
A total of 491 competitors from 59 different countries have entered. France is the most dominant at 15 per cent of the entry with the Netherlands close behind on 14.2 per cent. Argentina third at 11.4 per cent shows the growth in interest of people competing from South America.
The rally will total 12 stages during January 2-14, taking competitors through Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina. And with an entire week at high altitude, those who finish will have done an exceptional thing told race director Etienne Lavigne.
Lavigne took to the stage to say, “This will be the most demanding of all races in South America. We will take riders into the fourth dimension - altitude.
“An entire week will be above 3600m of altitude, reaching as high as 4800m. Rest day will be in Bolivia’s La Paz - the highest capital in the world.
“With seven stages over 400 kilometres in length - including two over 500 kilometres - ensures extreme endurance is a key point of this year’s edition.
“Experience of previous years will help but whoever finishes this race will have done an exceptional thing.”
Stages of Note
Stage 1: Rally starts in Asuncion in Paraguay for the very first time.
Stage 4: High altitude begins at 3500m for 416km of timed racing
Stage 6: 527km of timed racing at high altitude before arriving in La Paz, Bolivia for rest day
Stage 7: Marathon Stage begins
Stage 8: 492km including Bolivia’s famous salt lake flats of Salta
Stage 9: 100km long day including 406km of timed racing
Stage 12: Arrival to Buenos Aires in Argentina