Today in the afternoon (Wednesday 13th March) the 2013 Desafío Ruta 40 rally was officially launched in Buenos Aires, an event that will be run under Dakar Series format from 15th to 22nd June through a six-day schedule and a course that goes from San Salvador de Jujuy to San Juan.
Headed by the nation’s Tourism Minister Enrique Meyer, Dakar Director Etienne Lavigne and Desafío Ruta 40 Director Pablo Eli, the meeting was a good chance to reveal news and concepts about how the new version of this rally will be in its fourth edition. By joining forces with the Dakar Series, a great show either for competitors and fans should be on display.
With a route that will go through Northern Argentina provinces and others from the Cuyo region in the west, the event will touch iconic places of the stunning national Road 40 including some new features coming as a result of four years of work. Besides being a Dakar Series venue, the Challenge will be the fourth eligible round of the FIM World Cross-Country Rally Championship and second round of the Argentine Cross-Country Rally Championship, status that promise an interesting number and quality of entries not only from the national but also from the international scene.
“Again, Argentina hosts the Desafío Ruta 40 rally, an international event that we supported from our Ministry four years ago because it crosses natural places of unique beauty, identity and culture with a Dakar Series format. As it happened with the Desafío Litoral in 2012, the Desafío Ruta 40 should catch the attention of the world’s main specialists in the Cross-Country category for six days in which 1,600 kilometers should be left behind to reach the finish line. This is a great opportunity to show the vast tourist offers we have in our country, the quality of the services and the overwhelming personality of our people”, Meyer commented in his role as Tourism Minister.
“We are very happy to introduce the second visit of the Dakar Series to South America and the Desafío Ruta 40, an event that in only three years of life has been able to mix all the ingredients of the true Dakar spirit. I am sure this is a wonderful rally for all kind of competitors. There will be known places on its course, so that some participants can get a familiar feeling with some of the stages scheduled every year in the famous Dakar Rally. That is why this season’s Dakar Series should be the perfect chance to compare with each other more or less six months before the start of our biggest event in the region”, Lavigne said.
“Almost three years ago, by April 2010, we conceived a rally which was absolutely news in Argentine motorsports. We also made what was a dream come true, wishing that this event could grow up according to our expectations. That first experience was not easy, but after ten days driving along the Route 40 from south to north we definitely knew that the flame was already burning and that nothing could switch it off. The Desafío Ruta 40 quickly became an iconic Cross-Country meeting in this part of the world. Heading towards the 2013 edition, we face a big commitment. The Desafío Ruta 40 has got support from ASO to be a rally valid for the Dakar Series, now in its second year in Argentina. Least but not last, the event has also been appointed as round 4 of the FIM Cross-Country World Championship this season. Thus, we are writing the history of a rally that pushes us to try even harder the target of reaching a more thrilling edition this time”, Eli told.
After a start in the city of San Salvador de Jujuy, the Desafío Ruta 40 will stop for its bivouacs in San Miguel de Tucumán, San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca, Tinogasta, Chilecito and San Juan, the city that will host the prize-giving on the Saturday 22nd next June.