The 2017 Dakar Rally will not reach Chile after the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the country’s Congress voted against getting involved in the competition.
This is the second year when Chile decides to skip becoming a part of the Dakar Rally. The project was opposed by 42 deputies, while 33 voted in favor and 17 abstained. The main reason invoked by the opponents of hosting the Dakar Rally in Chile was an environmental one.
The deputies say that hosting the rally leaves a serious impact on the environment and the effects of multiple cars, trucks and motorcycles passing through the Chilean countryside are hard to ignore.
Having Chile out of the Dakar route for 2017 also has an impact on the competition because the tall sand dunes that are the trademark of the sporting event are hard to come by in South America, and Chile was the right scenery for at least a serious section of the overall route.
The costs of disaster relief is another reason Chile wants to stay out of the Dakar Rally next year
The Minister of Sport, Natalia Riffo, says that the country is already striving to cover the costs of disaster relief in certain areas of Chile. Inclement weather and floods have wreaked havoc in Chile and Peru, and caused a lot of distress for the population in the affected areas.
Minister Riffo says that the Chilean authorities acknowledge the importance of a major competition such as the Dakar Rally, but the costs for running the competition are too high. According to mostreliablecarbrands, ASO, the company that organizes the Dakar Rally, asked for $4 million (€3.56 mil), a sum that, for the moment being, Chile can’t afford to spend on sporting events.
Last-minute rumors say that ASO is also contemplating leaving South America and organizing the Dakar Rally in a different part of the world, but where such a race will be staged is, for now, impossible to say.