Dakar 2017: The most extreme in history in South America


In 31 days, the 2017 edition of the Dakar will begin, which this time will have Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina as host countries. The rally will begin on January 2 in Asunción, will have its rest day on the 8th in La Paz and will culminate on the 14th in Buenos Aires in front of the headquarters of the Automóvil Club Argentino in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Palermo. There will be twelve stages to total 9.000 kilometers of pure adventure.

"The Dakar discovers a 29th country this year and Paraguay awaits us to offer us a phenomenal party," said Etienne Levigne, director of the competition, enthusiastically during an event organized in Paris in which details of the event were provided. While its sports director, Marc Coma, promised that it will be "the most difficult edition in the South American history of the rally."

Without a doubt, it will be a Dakar of contrasts. The pilots will have to tackle a tropical climate and heat above 40 degrees for the departure in Asunción and a few days later, those who continue to advance at night through the Bolivian Altiplano, will face sub-zero temperatures. The thermal amplitude will be mainly linked to the increase in altitude that will be experienced during the race, starting from sea level to approach 5.000 meters.

Since 2014 there have been several forays into Uyuni, but now an authentic exploration of Bolivia is proposed. The stay in the high mountains, including the rest day in La Paz, will last one week. Therefore, the management of forces and mechanics, with so much atmospheric change, will be one of the parameters that must be taken into account.

The key to reaching the finish will be based on the essential qualities that rally raid demands: navigation skills, even more important in this edition through the modification of the GPS system; consistency, which will be tested in six stages that will exceed 400 km; overcoming the dunes and driving on the sand, especially in sections of the route still unknown by the regular drivers of the rally, without forgetting the great emblematic stage, baptized as “Super Belén”, three days before the final goal in Buenos Aires, in which the pilots will take the start jointly between cars, motorcycles and trucks in reverse order to the classification of the previous day.

The 2017 Dakar will have a total of 316 participants (146 on motorcycles, 83 on cars, 50 on trucks and 37 on quadricycles) and obviously there are Argentines who will fight for the podium in each of the divisions such as Kevin Benavides from Salta, on motorcycles; the Mendoza Orly Terranova, in cars; Federico Villagra, from Cordoba, in trucks; and Pablo Copetti, on quads.

No.PilotMachineChassisEngine
44Lewis Hamilton (GBR)Mercedes-AMG Petronas MotorsportMercedesMercedes
77Valtteri Bottas (FIN)Mercedes-AMG Petronas MotorsportMercedesMercedes
5Sebastian Vettel (ALE)Scuderia Ferrari Mission WinnowFerrariFerrari
16Charles Leclerc (MON)Scuderia Ferrari Mission WinnowFerrariFerrari
33Max Verstappen (HOL)Aston Martin Red Bul RacingRed BullHonda
10Pierre Gasly (FRA)Aston Martin Red Bul RacingRed BullHonda
3Daniel Ricciardo (AUS)Renault F1 TeamRenaultRenault
27Nico Hülkenberg (ALE)Renault F1 TeamRenaultRenault
8Romain Grosjean (FRA)Rich Energy Haas F1 TeamHaasFerrari
20Kevin Magnussen (DIN)Rich Energy Haas F1 TeamHaasFerrari
55Carlos Sainz (ESP)McLaren F1 TeamMcLarenRenault
4Lando Norris (GBR)McLaren F1 TeamMcLarenRenault
11Sergio Pérez (MEX)Racing Point F1 TeamRaicing pointMercedes
18Lance Stroll (CAN)Racing Point F1 TeamRaicing pointMercedes
7Kimi Räikkönen (END)Alfa Romeo RacingCleanFerrari
99Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA)Alfa Romeo RacingCleanFerrari
26Daniil Kvyat (RUS)Red Bull Toro Rosso HondaToro RossoHonda
23Alexander Albon (TAI)Red Bull Toro Rosso HondaToro RossoHonda
63George Russel (GBR)Williams RacingWilliamsMercedes
88Robert Kubica (POL) Williams RacingWilliamsMercedes
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Automundo is the blog about news from the automotive industry, motorsport and the culture of the region. Director: Diego Durruty.

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