It is a landscape of stark contrasts, of towering peaks, of meandering rivers and vast plains. A continent rich in history and once again South America will be hosting the Dakar Rally one of the toughest challenges on four wheels and two.
The 37th rally will start in front of the Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires next January.
It will be the seventh time the gruelling competition will be staged in South America and as before the drivers and riders will cross Argentinean landscapes, the Andes mountains and Bolivia.
The rally will return to the concept of a looped route competitors starting and finishing in Buenos Aires.
“Bolivia is like a desert which we love and which we keep including again and again. This year there will be four days in Bolivia for motorbike, quads and for cars with the added pleasure of being able to visit the famous salt lakes in the Bolivian plateau, which will be crossed in the car race,” explained Dakar Race Director Etienne Lavigne.
Ahead lie marathon stages on the tracks and dunes of Argentina and Chile. The bike riders have been through Bolivia in previous rallies now for the first time cars and their drivers will be tested there too.
Peugeot has announced it will return to the competition for 2015 with Cyril Despres a five times winner in the bike category one of the drivers while the other Carlos Sainz was victorious in 2010.
“I think that the fact that Peugeot has joined the Dakar Rally is excellent news. For me being with a brand like Peugeot, which won a number of times in the 80’s and 90’s is a new challenge. And for the Dakar Rally having a brand like Peugeot join the competition is also fantastic,” he opined.
So can the Lion find its roar again among the Pumas, Condors and Lamas of South America?