"A challenge for those who go on. A dream for those who stay behind"
/ The Dakar Rally best described by the founder, Thierry Sabine.
Cross Country Rally is motorsports's toughest form of competition and a mixture between a car race, a logistical military operation and a survival course in the desert.
The sport is also known as "Rally Raid" or "Desert Rally" and runs in the vast open spaces and wilderness in the most inspiring landscapes our planet has to offer. The sport is characterized by challenge and adventure and the races extends over one or more countries, over thousands of kilometers and last for several days and up to three weeks.
The longest and hardest Rally Raid is the famous Dakar Rally. Since the first Dakar was held for more than 30 years ago, the sport has grown to include a number of rallies in all continents.
The Dakar Rally is a rally of extremes
It’s the largest motorsport event in the world – not only in terms of participants but also in terms of media coverage and prestige. The rally does not take place on designated, blocked-off roads and routes, but on open, largely unmarked terrain.
The Dakar Rally is also the largest competition with spectators on the spot and the world’s third largest sports event (after the Summer Olympics & FIFA World Cup).
The number of competitors are many, as well as the media coverage during Dakar. It includes TV coverage in more than 190 countries, 600 hours of broadcasting with one billion TV contacts, 1000 accredited journalist from over 60 countries and 4,1 million spectators along the race.
The 2012 Dakar Rally was the 33nd running of the event. It was held in Argentina, Chile and Peru (starting in Mar del Plata and ending in Lima) and ran from January 1-15th.