The 35th running of the Dakar Rally began its official start yesterday in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina and ending in Valparaíso, Chile, some 800 miles over some of the roughest, most unforgiving landscape traversed in modern motorsports. Sunday’s race is only the beginning, representing the first, yet longest stage in a 13-stage race. The total distance traveled will be over 2,600 miles over 14 days through three countries in central South America.
Racing each stage are four classes of vehicles: bikes, quads, cars, and trucks. Each is highly modified and capable of handling the extreme terrain. The cars, for example, look something like a cross between a Baja 1000 truck and a Rally America racer with massive shock absorbers, knobby tires, all-wheel drive and a fearless driver. The truck, or Lorrie class, includes cab-over-engine trucks weighing over 7,716 pounds and look something like a Mercedes Unimog.
Continuing today through January 18th, the Dakar will snake its way through Argentina up to Bolivia, then turning south again for Chili. Separate routes are mapped out — one for the motorcycles and quads, the other for the cars and trucks — keeping the race circuit more suited for the vehicle types.
A live feed is available on the official Dakar website, along with more photos and videos of the action. The results for each day’s finishers are posted there as well.
Click past the jump for more videos of the Dakar Rally
2013 Dakar Overview
2013 Dakar - The Best of Quads and Trucks
2013 Dakar - The Best of Bikes