Will 2010 be the last year for the Dakar in South America? Organisers have hinted the race to go back to Africa in 2012... but where in Africa? North, West, East, or South? Or will the success of the Silk Way dictate otherwise?
And what about 2011? East Europe or in the United Arab Emirates? or will we continue to explore South America and include Brasil, Bolivia etc
Who is next?...and perhaps a more challenging question is: What will be the determining criteria???
The original 5x5 concept by Jean-Claude Bertrand, the creator of cross country rallies back in 76-77 called for 5 continents: Africa, America, Europe, Asia, and ... Australia.
Born from the legendary Bandama rally in the Ivory Coast (West Africa) where in one year no paticipants were able to cross the finish line, the rally, Cote d'Ivoire-Cote d'Azur or, Abidjan-Nice, or also named "Cote-Cote" begins on 25 December 1976. The race is 8,600 kms long and 38 motorbikes start the adventure that must last until the 11th of January. The first special, Abidjan-Niamey is 1,725 kms long and must be completed in a maximum time of 31 hours. But this is not the longest stage. Tamanrasset to Fez is 2,700 kms long. All of which without practically any assistance. Watch the video...
Navigation is done with a manual compass!
The dreams for Jean-Claude Bertrand was to create a 10,000 to 15,000 kms race where most of it was through compass navigation, this was "The Adventure".
Thierry Sabine participated in 1977, got lost and nearly died. Thierry's life was saved by Jean-Claude who then offered him a job to help him map the route. Thierry began to understand and appreciate Africa. In 1978, while Jean-Claude ran out of steam trying to launch the American edition, Thierry created the Paris-Dakar Rally.
Thierry lost his life in an Helicopter crash during the 1986 edition. The race continued to be organised by his father Gilbert with Patrick Verdoy and Rene Metge - (winner of the Dakar in 81, 84, 86 and now in charge of the Africa Race
) until 1994, when he sold to the group Amaury Sport Organisation. Rene organised also the 1992 Rallye Raid Paris-Moscou-Pékin and the 2008 Transorientale Rally (Paris-Saint Petersbourg-Beijing).
In 1994, Auriol (who started the Africa Race
concept in 2008 after ASO cancelled the 2008 Edition) joined Dakar organizer ASO and became race director of the event he won for three times (81, 83, 88) and the first winner of both bike and car category. He headed the event until the 2004 edition, when he was replaced by Patrick Zaniroli. Patrick will work for twelve years at ASO until March 2005 to begin other projects.
In August 2005, Patrick begins the TransAfricaine Classic
, the first regularity rally from Paris to Dakar that begins in November 2006. A race for Amateurs where professional may participates(!) (e.g. the original Paris-Dakar Rally Concept).
In 2009-2010, The Adventure finally moved to South America...but where to next?