"A challenge for those who go and a dream for those who stay." Thierry Sabine
The Dakar Rally was started in 1978 by a young adventurous Frenchman named Thierry Sabine. During its early years, it was called the Paris-Dakar Rally because at the time the race started in Paris, the capital of France, and finished in Dakar, the capital of Senegal. However, the rally had to be canceled in 2008 due to rising political uncertainties in Africa, where the bulk of the race was carried out. It was relocated to the South American continent in 2009, and is currently called the Dakar Rally.
The Dakar Rally is a time competition where contestants compete for two weeks over a distance of approximately 10,000km, traveling over off-road terrain including sand dunes, deserts and wastelands. The rally is referred to as the "world's most grueling rally," and over the years, it hasn't been unusual for less than half the contestants to make it to the finish line. This has only spurred the contestants' spirit of challenge, however, as each year it attracts more than 400 entrants from over 50 countries in four categories-motorbikes, quads (4-wheeled buggies), cars and trucks-making this a major event with a huge global following.
|The Dakar in figures (according to the organizer's press release in January 2015)|
|The number of nationalities represented on the rally.||54|
|The number of nationalities represented on the rally.||664|
|The number of vehicles represented on the rally.||406|
|The number of countries in which the images of the Dakar will be broadcast, by 70 TV broadcasters.||190|
|In total, the estimated number of hours broadcast of images of the Dakar on the world's TV channels||1200|
|The number of journalists who will follow the entire rally, out of 1,800 granted media passes in total in the media family (technicians, consultants, day pass holders, etc.).||332|
|The number of fans on the Dakar's official SNS.||1.5 million|
|The number of unique visitors to the www.dakar.com web site.||7.8 million|
|The number of spectators counted for the start, finish and passage of the Dakar in 2013, in Argentina, Chile and Bolivia.||4.8 million|