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407 vehicles hit the Dakar rally

A total of 407 vehicles made their way to the start grid of the 13-stage Dakar Rally, which returns to Argentina and Chile after successful events there over the past two years.


The participants were put through their final technical and administrative paces ahead of the start in Buenos Aires.

A total of 140 cars, 170 motorbikes, 30 quadbikes and 67 lorries were given the green light from the race commissioners with 23 not making the technical cut, organisers said.

Carlos Sainz of Spain will be out to defend his cars title having led last year´s edition from the fifth stage through to the end, but chief rivals, Nasser al-Attiyah and Mark Miller will lead a posse of hopefuls trying to dethrone him as they embark on 5,000km of racing over a 9,500km-long course.

After staging the event 29 times in Africa between 1979 and 2007, the rally switched continents in 2008 for security reasons.

The 2009 and 2010 editions of the rally went off well in Argentina and Chile, and Sainz says they offer a much varied landscape.

“Compared to the stages in Africa it is the variety of the terrain in South America that impresses me the most. Beforehand, the talk is frequently of very special challenges,” he said midweek on Volkswagen´s website.

The race willl end in Buenos Aires on January 15 ahead of a winners ceremony scheduled the following day.


Posted on Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 02:06:38 LKT


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