Peru joined the Dakar in 2012 with a dazzling finish that was a revelation for the competitors. The following year, Lima hosted the start of the rally with a very complicated beginning where the competitors encountered the Ica dunes. After a five-year absence, the rally set off on an even deeper exploration of the Peruvian desert last year, to the delight of sand specialists. But this year and for the first time in its long history, the Dakar will be run in one country… Peru.
And in Lima, this responsibility of ‘honouring all the Peruvian people’ is being taken very seriously, as the Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Mr Rogers Valencia highlighted in the opening speech of the presentation held this morning at Mincetur in the San Isidro neighbourhood. Among other things, the Minister spoke about the economic impact of the rally: “it will first boost the regions of Lima, Arequipa, Moquegua and Tacna with a higher demand in goods and services during the race”.
In front of the microphones and cameras present for the event, a large portion of the 31 Peruvian competitors expected for the start of the Dakar (split into 20 vehicles in total) expressed how proud they will be to race on home soil this coming January. For Nicolas Fuchs, the Peruvian standard bearer, who has the best result to date with his 12th place in 2017, the opportunity is unique: “The Dakar will be very tough this year, but I have worked a lot to be ready for this great moment. I am ready to fully commit to take on this challenge”. However, the former WRC driver could see his popularity rivalled by Gianna Velarde, a new motorcycle competitor to the rally and who is already being followed by many aficionados: “The truth is that all this is new for me. I have years of experience on my bike but I perfectly know that things are different on the Dakar.” This young rider has already understood that humility and determination are key to be successful on the Dakar. This is already a very good start…
The dates and events for the Peruvian public
The die-hards and enthusiasts will have several opportunities to meet the competitors and encourage them in action, before, during and at the end of the competition.
- Feria Lima: various events and autograph sessions near the parc fermé at Magdalena, from 4-6 January.
- Start podium: 6 January at Magdalena.
- Spectator zones: 30 secured sites especially designed for the public in the heart of the special stages. More information on dakar.com and the social media.
- Feria Ilo: the site for events dedicated to the Dakar will settle for a day on the shore of the Pacific, 10 January.
- Arrival podium: the heroes will be celebrated on 17 January on the beach of Magdalena.
Photo Credit : Rodrigo de Quesada