Lima, June 5 (IANS) The Dakar Rally officials plan to ask Argentina, Bolivia and Chile if they are interested in being on the route before deciding in a few months whether to return to Africa following the 2019 edition, the endurance race’s director, Etienne Lavigne said on Monday.
“We know today that there’s a difficult situation in countries like Chile and Argentina. They cannot put on the Dakar under today’s economic conditions. We hope that this will only be the situation for this year,” Lavigne said, reported Efe.
While preparing for next year’s race, Dakar officials plan to speak with the governments of those three countries and Peru to see if they are interested in hosting portions of the race in 2020, Lavigne said in a press conference in Lima, where the next rally will start and end.
“We plan to once again touch base with the countries to see if we can or cannot stage new editions of the Dakar. To make things clear, we’ll ask these countries questions to see if in six or eight months there will be a willingness to invite us to work (with them) once again,” Lavigne said.
The 2018 Dakar Rally was the 40th overall and the tenth successive race to be held in South America. The race was moved from Africa to South America due to security concerns. The 2019 edition will be run entirely in Peru.
In May, Sports Minister Pauline Kantor said the 2019 Dakar Rally would not run through Chile due to the South American country’s budget problems.
Chile has not been on the Dakar Rally’s route since 2015.
Also last month, Lavigne said that the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), which organises the race, had contacted Portugal, Algeria, Angola and Namibia about possibly being on the 2020 Dakar Rally route.