After two decades of races from Paris to Senegal, the 2010 edition of the Dakar Rally will be unleashed in the Argentine wilderness on New Year’s Day.
Recent political instability in Africa prompted the trans-Atlantic crossing of the annual event to South America last year when the race was first run from Buenos Aires across the Andes into Central Chile, north into the Atacama Desert and back to Buenos Aires. (2009 Course)
This year’s event will take place from January 1-17, and tourists, technology and Twitter will play expanding roles building on last year’s success. There were major public turnouts in 2009 given Argentines and Chileans shared love for motor sports, and this year’s course, a brutal 9,000 kilometer, counter-clockwise loop should pull solid crowds in Cordoba, Antofagasta, Santiago and of course BA. (2010 Course)
As for technology, Adam Hoover of WhoWon.com says “5 pairs of Volkswagen drivers will battle against other competitors in Volkswagen Race Touaregs powered by 280 hp clean diesel, TDI engines. In 2009, Volkswagen scored a 1-2 victory in the Dakar Rally with its Race Touaregs in the car class. The German duo of Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz took the win.”
Arizona native Mark Miller and teammate Ralph Pitchford (New Zealand) finished second making Miller the highest finishing American in Dakar’s history. While 2.9 million unique visitors followed the race last year online, that number should easily exceed 3 million this year thanks in part to Miller who will Twitter his way through the 2010 Rally. (Official Dakar 2010 Site)
For more information about Dakar and other upcoming events in Buenos Aires, download the new issue of InvestBA Privada.