As the condor (rather than the crow) flies, almost 5,000 kilometres separate Mar del Plata from Lima. In 2012, the Dakar will be staging a pan-American adventure of more than 9,000 kilometres in total. Unlike previous year’s loops, the route will transport the rally from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to those of the Pacific, enabling its competitors to discover new lands and another aspect of South America. The scale of this challenge has also led to a change in the race’s format, which will include 14 days of racing in 2012. Constantly guided by the Andes Mountain range, the drivers and riders will be crossing the Atacama, and will experience in particular the diversity of the dunes as they head into Peru.
THREE COUNTRIES: ARGENTINA - CHILE - PERU
Argentina: heading for the hillsGrand Start + 5 stages
The competitors will be getting to the heart of the sporting matter on 1st January, after the starting ceremony at Mar del Plata. Used to journeying through Argentina, the riders, drivers and crews will this time be making a bee-line for the Andes Mountains. Only a few familiar landscapes as well as some first-rate sections, including dunes and canyons, have been selected for the Argentine part of the programme in 2012.
Chile: en route for the Atacama5 stages + 1 rest day The rally will enter Chile with a spot of climbing. After having travelled over the Andes, the rally will then start to follow the range to its tip, working their way up between the mountains and ocean. During this journey northwards, the Dakar will be delving in to the heart of the Atacama Desert, where navigational skill is just as important as the ability to tame the dunes.
Peru: another face of the desert
4 stages + finish 01/01/2012 Mar Del Plata Santa Rosa de la Pampa 02/01/2012 Santa Rosa de la Pampa San Rafael 03/01/2012 San Rafael San Juan 04/01/2012 San Juan Chilecito 05/01/2012 Chilecito Fiambala 06/01/2012 Fiambala Copiapo 07/01/2012 Copiapo Copiapo 08/01/2012 Rest day 09/01/2012 Copiapo Antofagasta 10/01/2012 Antofagasta Iquique 11/01/2012 Iquique Arica 12/01/2012 Arica Arequipa 13/01/2012 Arequipa Nasca 14/01/2012 Nasca Pisco 15/01/2012 Pisco Lima