The dates, distance and most definitely how many participants will finish the Dakar Rally could very well change. But orgranizers still like to have some semblance of order in this extreme event that will cover a total distance of nearly 9,000km starting from tomorrow until January 14 while going through Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina.
For your reference; Paraguay lies in a time zone 8.5 hours behind Indian Standard Time while Bolivia is 9.5 hours behind and Argentina 8.5 hours behind.
There will be 145 participants in the bikes category and 37 on quads. 79 vehicles will be entered in the car category, with a driver and co-driver in each car. Eight utility task vehicles (UTV) will also be part of the car class with two people in each vehicle. Finally there are 50 trucks also entered, that will have three people in each vehicle.
We have also listed the planned dates and route of the rally, including how much of the distance is 'timed', meaning the distance that the competitors will have to cover as fast as possible as opposed to a 'liason'. The latter is the distance that has to be covered to get to and from the start and finish of the timed section for the day.
The timed distance is one that has been previously scouted by the rally's organizers and deemed a worthy test of the competitors' skills and will go off into the great wide open where not only speed and skill, but navigation and mechanical reliability will be required to get the
We would recommend keeping a map handy or even Google Maps or Google Earth so that you can appreciate the scale of this event as we list the names of the cities and towns that the rally will pass through.
Also read through the preview of the event as well as our features on first-time Indian rider Aravind KP of TVS Racing and third-time Dakar competitor CS Santosh of Hero Motosports Rally Team.
You can also view this video put together by Red Bull TV, an online video division of the Austrian energy drinks giant, which sponsors many athletes and teams across all the classes of the rally
January 2: The 38th edition of the Dakar Rally will commence tomorrow from Asuncion in Paraguay and will make its way to Resistencia in Argentina. A total distance of 454km will be covered by all three classes of vehicles - bikes and quads, cars and trucks. Only 39km of that distance will be a 'timed stage', which will have to be covered as fast as possible against the stopwatch.
January 3: The route of the rally will stay in Argentina as a total of 803km will be covered by the bikes, quads and cars with 275km being timed. The trucks will cover 9km extra distance with 284km of timed distance as the route goes from Resistencia to San Miguel de Tucuman.
January 4: 780kms need to be covered on the third day of the Dakar Rally as the field heads out from San Miguel de Tucuman to try and reach San Salvador de Jujuy. The rally route is still in Argentina at this point and the timed distance is 364km for the bikes, quads and cars but 199km for the trucks.
January 5: The field will head out from San Salvador de Jujuy and head into Bolivia for the first time with the destination set as Tupiza. A total of 521km have to be completed, out of which 416km are timed across all the classes.
January 6: The rally will stay within Bolivia as 692km has to be covered from Tupiza to Oruro for the bikes, quads and cars, out of which 447km is timed. The trucks will cover 438km of timed distance.
January 7: Still in Bolivia as 786km will be covered by the bikes, quads and cars with 527km of timed distance. The trucks will cover 14km less but the distance of the timed section will be the highest for all classes over the rally. Fitting that after it comes a time to rest up. The day will start in Oruro and end at the Bolivian capital of La Paz.
January 8: Rest day. All the competitors who have made it this far spend the day taking it easy in La Paz, which holds the distinction of being the highest administrative capital in the world, at an altitude of 3,500 meters above sea level on an Andean plateau.
January 9: After recharging their batteries, the field will head out of La Paz and head to Uyuni, which lies higher above sea level than even the Bolivian capital. 622km is the total distance for all the classes with 322 of those being timed.
January 10: From Uyuni the Dakar contingent will roll back into Argentina with Salta as the destination. It rests 2000 meters lower - above sea level - than Uyuni so the competitors will experience a fair drop as they charge through the 492km of timed distance that will be part of a total distance of 892km. The trucks will have 429km of timed distance to tackle.
January 11: 977km of total distance is on the agenda for the tenth stage of the Dakar Rally for all the classes with 406 of those being timed. From Salta the rallyists will head towards Chilecito. We are in Argentina all the way to the finish of the event from here on end.
January 12: From Chilecito the rally heads towards San Juan. 751km is the total distance to be covered with 449km of timed stages for all the classes.
January 13: The penultimate day of the rally sees the bikes, quads and trucks cover a total distance of 754km from San Juan to Rio Cuarto. The cars will cover five more in total and four more kilometers in the timed section.
January 14: After 11 days of punishment, the remaining Dakar competitors will get to spend the vast majority of the 786km total distance in liason. Just 64km will be timed as the event heads out of Rio Cuarto to its end in the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires, said to be the second-most visited city in Latin America after Mexico City.