Buenos Aires, Nov 19 (IANS) The organisers of the Dakar Rally confirmed on Wednesday the official route for the 2016 edition will mainly take place in Argentine territory after Chile and Peru both pulled out of helping to host the race.
The competition will cover up 900 km (560 miles) per day over 13 stages. Out of these stages, only three will take place on Bolivian territory, the rest will be in Argentina, reports Xinhua.
The 38th edition of the rally will begin on December 31, 2015, with a technical revision of each vehicle while the official inauguration will take place on January 2. The following day the competition will formally get underway with the stage that will join Argentina’s Buenos Aires with the province of Cordoba.
The marathon stage between the fourth and fifth day in Argentina’s northern province of Jujuy is a new addition to the 2016 edition. In this stage the participants will have to leave their vehicles in a closed park without the possibility of mechanical assistance not even from the drivers themselves.
In this way, those who need to make repairs will have to wait until the following stage on the course. This will cause the drivers to lose time.
According to the official schedule, the Dakar Rally 2016 will come to Bolivian soil in the fifth stage which is estimated to be January 7. This stage will join the province of Jujuy with Bolivia’s southwestern city of Uyuni.
In the ninth stage the competition will return to Argentina via the northwestern province of Salta.
The final of the race is scheduled to take place on January 16 when the drivers who are left in the competition will complete the last stage which unites the city of Villa Carlos Paz, in the central province of Cordoba, with Rosario, in the neighbouring province of Santa Fe, 300 kilometres (186.4 miles) from Buenos Aires.
In terms of registration, 556 drivers from 60 different countries and regions will participate in the race. The drivers will be distributed between 354 vehicles: 143 motorbikes, 46 quads, 110 cars and 55 trucks.
France will have the most representatives (15.5 percent) followed by the Netherlands (14.4 percent) and Argentina (13.8).