One of the most brutal motor races in the world launches into 2017

The latest edition of the Dakar Rally is now officially underway, with over 500 adventurous souls taking the helm of their chosen chariot to see if they have what it takes to conquer this monster of an event. And while there’s still quite a bit of ground to cover, the results from Stage 1 are in. Leading the cars is Nasser Al-Attiyah, while Xavier de Soultrait heads the bike class. Meanwhile, Marcelo Medeiros takes the lead in the quad class, Martin Kolomy leads in the truck class, and Tim Coronel leads in UTV’s.

For those of you who are unaware, the Dakar Rally is an annual “rally raid” event whereby competitors race off-road, from point to point. The event pits drivers and their vehicles against some of the most challenging terrain Mother Earth can muster, including nearly 5,600 miles of dirt, sand, boulders, grit, and grime. Just finishing the event is considered a major accomplishment.

Established in the late ‘70s, the name of the event stems from the original route, which started in Paris, France, and ended in Dakar, Senegal. In 2009, the event was moved to South America, but make no mistake – it’s still every bit as treacherous as the original rally.

Stay tuned, because we’ll be bringing you updates as the event progresses towards its conclusion January 14th.

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Why It Matters

There’s off-road racing, then there’s the Dakar Rally. What I mean by that statement is simple – this race is on a whole other level compared to other events. The length, both in time and distance, is arduous to say the least, quickly weeding out all but the most committed of drivers and the most reliable of vehicles. The terrain is equally challenging, offering up just the right mix to break mechanical bits and trick a race-weary mind.

This year’s journey starts in Asuncion, the capital city of Paraguay, then heads to Resistencia in Argentina. The rally then heads east to San Miguel de Tucuman before turning north to San Salvador de Jujuy. The next stop is in the Bolivian city of Tupiza, followed by Oruro. On January 8th, the rally takes a breather in the high city of La Paz before turning south towards Uyuni. Then it’s back into Argentina for the city of Salta, followed by Chilecito, San Juan, and Rio Cuarto. Finally, the checkered flies in Buenos Aires.

Should be a helluva time. We’ll see who’s first to make it back to the Atlantic in two weeks.

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