Originally Posted by bearorso
To say South America has embraced the Dakar, is one of the greatest understatements of all time.
I'd say that the bidding to have the event pass through a country, is full on, if not downright nasty. Really, the drongos that go on about ASO being in the laps of BMW / Mini, or say, KTM, have no idea.
ASO, I would assume, are getting serious money, from various countries' Governments. It would be relatively cheap advertising for the countries involved.
This alone deserves a thread of it's own. It has been overheard, in hushed and muted conversations, that the 2008 cancellation was more than just about terrorists. One only has to connect the dots, and compare the GNP of the African nations to the SA ones.
There is also the Berber factor. Back in the early days in Africa, there was a mutual understanding with T. Sabine that the Berbers allowed the rally to pass unharmed in exchange for all the leftover scrap the competitors left behind, and maybe a few other concessions as well. Somewhere along the way, that agreement changed. Also, if I am not mistaken, E. Lavigne is ex French military, though I have yet to find any info on his service record, and wether he was involved in the french North African campaign of the 50s 60s 70s (Algeria etc).
As I said, discussion for a different thread.