In one of the cooler unknown sporting events, the Dakar Rally has just kicked off this past weekend. It is an off road race that goes through South America from January 4-17: and surprisingly, it is made up of both professional off road drivers and amateurs. The Rally’s course hits Argentina, Bolivia and Chile and covers about 8,500 kilometers — roughly 5,281 miles.

The inaugural race took place in 1979 and the initial route was from France to Dakar. However, the 2008 race was canceled due to the terrorist threats in Mauritania. As a result, a few countries in South America volunteered to take over in 2009 and have been hosting the event since.


OFFICIAL 2015 DAKAR TEASER by Dakar

The race is in 13 stages over 13 days and the events are split into four categories: bike, quad, car and truck. The above photo is from day two of the event with Kazakhstan’s Aidyn Rakhimbayev and co-driver Russia’s Anton Nikolaev going between Villa Carlos Paz and San Juan.

As of today [when this was written], this pair is ranked eleventh in the race, with a time of 10:06:55. The duo’s last effort at Dakar resulted in a 17th place finish in 2014. At the same time, Nassar Al-Attiyah and his co-driver Matthieu Baumel are the ones that are leading at the moment, with a time of 09:21:26. The duo finished in third last year and has even won the Dakar Rally in 2011.

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