Open thread. Post whatever you think is interesting.
The issue with Chile is the economy has cooled pretty dramatically. There is no government money in Chile to support the race. Peru's economy hasn't been doing badly (though not as good as a few years ago) but it doesn't seem they are interested. They've got other issues relating to the government and social services that are more pressing. I think anything ASO did in either of those countries they'd have to pay for themselves plus whatever in "permitting" fees the government and the locals wanted.
Go back to Chile/ Peru and hold the Dakar Rally South America every second year and hold a short Baja France every year, there are areas in the South Of France where an Italian type Baja could be held.
But what about politics and team safety? Genuine question - maybe Desert dog could chime in with thoughts of actual chances of it being possible in the middle east?OK has Brazil many be off limits in terms of running cost for event. Here is another possible future route idea run from Musscat in Oman run along the coast to Dubai or Abu Dhabi and then full length of Saudi Arabia to Jeddah. You got has much sand and desert has you want in Mid east plus the weather going to be ok and not going to have problem with water and rain.
You cant run from Muscat along the coast to Dubai as you will anyways have to cross Hajar mountains. But thats not the point. Such a race is unlikely due to internal sporting federation politics. You also have the safety concern - not the security, but the safety of drivers and riders deep in the desert in Saudi as well as certain lack of closeby medical facilities that are up to scratch.
Thanks Geo - I knew there was another active middle east based member but couldn't remember your user name, only Desert Dogs.You cant run from Muscat along the coast to Dubai as you will anyways have to cross Hajar mountains. But thats not the point. Such a race is unlikely due to internal sporting federation politics. You also have the safety concern - not the security, but the safety of drivers and riders deep in the desert in Saudi as well as certain lack of closeby medical facilities that are up to scratch.
Also, this would mean finding someone like ASO to run the whole event. For now all UAE races are run and organized by our motorsport federation, same in Qatar and somewhat Saudi, but Oman Desert Challenge (will be run for the first time this Feb and we might race that) is organized by Pharaons Rally organizing team as a "commerical" event that they run for profit for the Omani Federation. Too many egos can be bruised - thats Middle East.
You also got some logistics issues. Saudi visas are a massive PITA for anyone. Same with UAE if you are one of the guys who needs it - you cant really get a multiple entry so certain logistics are going to be complicated. Then take customs, usual Gulf red tape and mix it.
And you will have too much sand around. Oman will be a mix of sand (maybe) and rocks/mountains, a bit of gravel in UAE, but then its sand sand sand and I dont think everyone likes it. Also, you wont have people standing around on the roads greeting you - as everyone can take their Patrol or Land Cruiser to the desert anyways. And current economy isnt making things any better.
Doesn't that fit the premise of the original Dakar Rally though? When T4 trucks got abandoned in the vast desert and everyone had to sleep in the bivouac instead of heading to town for a hot shower and a hotel room. I mean if we are going to call this the most grueling race in the world after all...
I wonder is the political situation has stabilized in any of the countries in Africa where the Dakar was previously held. Eg...Senegal, Mali, Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania, etc. Obviously there is major unrest in many places in North Africa, but I still wonder if alternating between North Africa and South America at some point might be possilbe/feasible. It would certainly make things interesting and it would prevent teams from making a car tailored to the terrain of one continent.
Anyway one can only dream when this years' #$%^&-ing Rally is stopped due to WEATHER...again! Grrrrr....
Terrorism was a major influence in the Dakar as we know it being moved to SA. The entire rally was completely cancelled in 2008 after some French tourists were killed in Mauritania prior to the event. The Eco Race is certainly cool though is kind of treated as a lower tier event to the SA Dakar. Jean-Louis Schlesser (a stallwart of the original rallies) vowed he'd never race the Dakar outside of Africa and I believe is now tied up with the Eco Race as an organiser?Well I thought the same thing but clearly something must have changed - have u seen the 2017 Africa Eco Race thread? It is incredible - I've been watching everytime Dakar gets rained out - same format, same vehicles, huge sponsors - and they started in Monaco and are ending in Dakar. Its almost as if that organization is completely thumbing their nose at ASO and are touting it as the 'REAL DAKAR' just like the old Paris-Dakar. I have never heard of this race until I saw the thread last week but evidently it has been going for a few years. It is awesome to watch (18 year old kid is leading the bikes), the coverage is awesome - give it a try. Maybe there is hope for the Dakar going back to Africa and there being one Dakar.