(Reuters) – Next year’s Dakar Rally will be held entirely in Peru, the first time it has been held in just one country, after other South American nations stayed out for economic reasons.
Presenting the route on Friday, organizers said the 41st edition of the event would run from Jan. 6-17 with a start and finish in Lima.
“Mapped around the Peruvian deserts, the 2019 Dakar promises to be one of the sandiest in the history of the rally,” the Dakar website said.
Rally director Etienne Lavigne told motorsport.com that the stages would be made more technical and difficult because it was not possible to develop 400km special stages in the available terrain.
In another novelty, cars and trucks stopped by incidents in the opening week will be allowed to rejoin the rally from the rest day but under special conditions and in a separate classification.
This year’s edition started in Lima and ended in Argentina after running through Bolivia. Organizers had hoped initially to schedule the 2019 edition from Chile through Peru to Ecuador.
The Dakar, which started out as a race from Paris across the Sahara to the Senegalese capital Dakar, moved to South America in 2009 for security reasons.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis)