Please excuse if spelling and word order is incorrect, translated from a Spanish site
The third edition of the Argentina-Chile Dakar Rally which takes place from 1st to January 16 was officially launched today at the Palacio San Martín, Argentina Foreign Ministry headquarters. In the event, which had the presence of major political and sports authorities related to competition, there were repeated references to one of the issues surrounding the test for these hours: Patronelli Mark's accident, reigning champion in 2010 and quads who had already made history in 2009 being the first Argentine to win a stage.
The world's toughest rally, which over its 33 year history was centered in Africa but in the last three took root in South American soil, was released in the Palacio San Martín to 250 guests, including governors, staff , national authorities and pilots. "We are very happy and grateful to return to run the Dakar for the third time in Argentina," said the Frenchman Etienne Lavigne, chief of the trial, who compared the "love" felt by the country with the plot of a romantic movie which revolves around "a married man who falls for another woman."
"I am French and I love my country, but in these years, I discovered that I deeply love yours. I feel a little Buenos Aires before and I appreciate these ties of friendship," said Lavigne.
The test will have a tour of 9,000 miles and 85 Argentines participate among the 428 pilots who take off from Buenos Aires.
The numbers of registered local speak for themselves: the first Dakar had run on these lands at the start to 13 Argentine, in 2010 were 45 and this year will be 85, not counting quads champion, Mark Patronelli, who suffered an accident on Monday preventing you from running and his brother Alexander, who as a consequence put on hold their involvement.
"We deeply regret what has happened to Mark (Patronelli), we expect a speedy recovery and I send a special greeting," said Leonardo Boto, executive secretary of Improtur, one of Argentina's most officials involved in organizing the competition.
In 2011 the route will take competitors to the extreme north of Argentina and Chile, up to Arica (Chile), where will the long-awaited day of rest and then take the road back to Buenos Aires. "The Dakar is not just a race, the Dakar race is the most extreme in the world, so for this new edition is thought a more demanding course and it will increasingly difficult as the days go by, endorsed Lavigne.