Dakar Rally 2018

Added On January 11, 2018

The 40th edition of the famous "Dakar" rally has got underway in Lima, Peru.
More than 500 drivers are pitting themselves against the wilds of South America, over an unforgiving 8,000 kilometers course. 
LIFESTYLES was at the start line to see them off.
The race began near the General Barracks of the Peruvian Army.
The endurance test for man and machine will then pass through the heights of Bolivia, and conclude in the Argentinean city of Cordoba on January 20th - after more than 8,000 gruelling kilometers.
A total of 335 vehicles, among them motorcycles, quads, all-terrain vehicles and trucks, are being driven by 523 drivers and copilots from more than 50 countries.
Among the drivers in the car category is France's 13-time champion Stephane Peterhansel, better known as Mr. Dakar, as well as Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah, Nani Roma, and Spain's Carlos Sainz.
In the motorcycles category, champion British rider Sam Sunderland faces off against Austrian Matthias Walkner and Catalan Gerard Farres. 
Russian driver Sergei Kariakin and Chilean Ignacio Casale are the ones to watch in the quads category; while in the truck category, eyes will be on Russian Eduard Nikolaev, his compatriot Dmitry Sotnikov, and Argentinean Federico Villagra.
According to the Ministry for External Trade and Tourism, the Dakar Rally 2018 will bring Peru economic benefits worth more than 400 million U.S. dollars, with 350 million U.S. dollars from advertising.
The event is also popular with locals, who have turned out in their thousands to watch.
SOUNDBITE 2 (Spanish): ROCIO TAHORA, Dakar Rally spectator
"Whenever there is Dakar Rally in Lima, Peru, the country's wonders and widely varied geography can be appreciated. I think it's a way to bring in more tourists, not just from Latin America but from other parts of the world." 
The race is now in its 10th year in South America and is organized by the Amaury Sport Organization.  
SOUNDBITE 1 (Spanish): FERNANDO PAJARES, Dakar Rally fan 
"Excellent. The organization has been fantastic. There is more people than last time and there's more interest. And that's very important for the country and for the continent."    
While in Peruvian territory, participants will cover around 3,000 kilometers in six stages before entering the neighboring country of Bolivia. 
There they will passing the coastal zone and cross vast deserts before arriving more than 3,000 meters above sea level; part of the race will also pass through the southern Amazon.
An estimated 190 million people will be watching the race, which is broadcast by 74 television channels around the world.