According to helicopter tow truck operator and Dakar race director Etienne Lavigne, the epic race stands “a 50:50 chance” of returning to Africa next year, although this time around, it could be through relatively terrorist free countries like Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. Yeah, that doesn’t sound much safer than west Africa to us either, but a return to the Dakar’s spiritual home does appear to hold significant appeal to the race’s organizers.
The current route through Argentina and Chile has proved surprisingly
successful for the last two years, not only for its political ease and
lack of landmines, but also for dramatic racing and media attention.
The problem seems to be that many of the Dakar’s traditional
competitors, European privateers, have been priced out of competition
by the Atlantic Ocean.
“We have two formal proposals of the Governments of Argentina and
Chile, as we have received three letters of invitation of the
Government of Tunisia, Libya and Egypt,” Lavigne continues. It will be
a terrible choice. We’ll decide which to take in the coming weeks.”