The Biggest Off-Road Event Of 2016 Has Already Been El Niño'ed

Illustration for article titled The Biggest Off-Road Event Of 2016 Has Already Been El Niño'ed

The 2016 Dakar Rally, an extreme off-road endurance challenge spanning multiple countries and thousands of miles, was supposed to start in Peru. But weather there’s predicted to be so bad that the entire race had to be changed. At least the new route looks somewhat spectator-friendly.


MaxRally and others reported that the Peruvian government withdrew their invitation to the Dakar Rally organization at the end of August.

The official statement from Peru’s representatives has been given as; “In anticipation of the effects (caused by El Niño) on the population, we decided to cancel our participation.” It sounds like the cause is less concern for the racers themselves, they’re tough guys and gals anyway, and more for the citizens of the nation who would have to deal with road closures and tied-up emergency response services in a potential time of need.

Hard to fault the Peruvians for prioritizing their own people over a bunch of wealthy racers playing around in the sand.

And now, after a few nail-biting weeks for competitors, organizers, and race fans, the 2016 Dakar Rally is confirmed as “happening” once again. Even better: the new course has quite a few more opportunities for spectators to stay in certain areas and get more than one look at the action. Here’s the revised route the Dakar will take in just over three months time:

Illustration for article titled The Biggest Off-Road Event Of 2016 Has Already Been El Niño'ed

Witnessing even a few seconds of this race is incredible, and touring the beautiful countries of South America is always a treat, but chasing race cars all over the continent is extremely challenging.

With the event doubling-back significantly more than it did last year, adventure-spectators should have a much easier time taking in more of the race without burning through drums on drums of fuel.


The new map will feature two “marathon” stages in which support teams, even the wealthy ones with private helicopters and multiple big rigs, won’t be able to help their racers at all. Which always makes competition just a little more interesting between the “average” rich guy racers and professional factory-supported competitors.

The next major updates on the race probably won’t come out until November, but stay tuned for specifics.


Images via ASO, AP

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If you plan to be at next year's race, what will you be driving?