After ten years away from its traditional route you’d think the organizers of the 2018 Dakar would start to tentatively pursue a change of name more suitable to its new South American home, however the race still hopes to one day make a return and whilst this year it races through Peru, Bolivia and Argentina there will be more than a few people who bet on the Dakar at BetVictor hoping it will one day come back home to France, Paris and Africa.
- Will The Dakar ever return to its European/African roots?
- Can Andre Villas-Boas finish this prestigious event?
- Which manufacturer will come out on top in the 2018 Dakar?
- Is the dominance of the 4WD rally car well and truly over?
The Paris-Dakar Rally had it all. Big name manufacturers, specialized vehicles, famous drivers and the magnificent mixture of Parisian chic and the desert’s own challenge. It made for great television and through the 1980s was as popular a dream drive as any Formula One race, eventually reaching a peak of popularity earlier this century with some 688 entrants in 2005. Year in, year out, you could bet on the Dakar rally to provide thrills and spills to satisfy any motor racing fan, but then things went awry.
The first indications were probably the three deaths in 1988. Getting hit by a souped up rally vehicle speeding through the dark of the desert piloted by a pair of rich pillocks is hazardous to health, and whilst the organizers barely registering the tragedy didn’t dent the race’s popularity among petrol heads in Europe and Japan, but if the French gambling news of the deaths could be so easily shrugged off were optimistic beyond measure, the actual reaction to the race began to shift in Africa, host to so much of it.
Terrorism Causes Race To Shift Continents
- Rally raid
- Jan 6th-20th
- 14 Stages
- 35% at 3,000m+
- Marathon Stages
In 2006 the race moved from Paris to Lisbon which robbed it of one of its anchors and in 2008, with Volkswagen just getting alongside Mitsubishi and Nissan in terms of competitive racing if not mechanical reliability, the race was canceled after a serious threat of terrorist attack in Mauritania scrubbed the event and placed its entire future in jeopardy. This should have been the point the race shut up shop. The end of an era. Any bet on the Dakar ever being the same again a mark of insanity.
Of course you can’t expect petrol heads to be swayed by little things like reality and geography, and so without Paris, without Dakar and without the deserts that had provided the challenge and sweeping grandeur of the event, it went ahead in South America instead. Impersonating an exiled prince who will one day return to its throne in a far off land is all very well, and you shouldn’t bet on the Dakar to stay away forever, but any of the French gambling laws of romantic historical closure will apply should think again.
Bet On The Dakar Rally Raid At BetVictor
For it’s tenth running in South America, and eventually you’ll be able to bet on the Dakar to notice the irony, the rally begins in Lima, Peru, and rushes south along the Pacific coast to Pisco, San Juan De Marcona and Arequipa before taking a day off in the busy streets of La Paz before cruising down to Uyuni, Tupiza, Salta and Chilecito before passing through San Juan on the way to the finish in Cordoba. It’s a 9000km, 14 stage thrill ride with half of those stages very definitely off road and piste.
You’ll be able to bet on the Dakar at BetVictor and if you like to bet on sports in France there’s still nothing quite like this event, although plenty of pretenders now exist. One day the rally will return to both Paris and Dakar, I have no doubt, possibly when The War On Terror ™ is won or in the aftermath of whichever conflict Donald Trump manages to start, and that’s why it won’t change it’s name and forsake its history but until then we have to satisfy ourselves with this shadow of its former glory.