Interesting facts you should know in order to fully enjoy the Dakar Rally 2013

Interesting facts you should know in order to fully enjoy the Dakar Rally 2013

What is the schedule for this year’s rally?
It started on January 5, 2013, and will end on January 19. The awards ceremony will be held on January 20.
The contestants will start off from Lima in Peru and go on to compete with each other in 14 stages. The rally course extends to Santiago in Chile, and is broken down into Liaison (L) sections used to move between the Special Stage (SS) sections where the competition takes place. The lengths of each stage are listed below.
January 5Stage 1 Lima-Pisco
L 250km/SS 13km
January 6Stage 2 Pisco-Pisco
L 85km/SS 242km
January 7Stage 3 Pisco-Nazca
L 100km/SS 243km
January 8Stage 4 Nazca-Arequipa
L 429km/SS 289km
January 9Stage 5 Arequipa-Arica
L 275km/SS 136km
January 10Stage 6 Arica-Calama
L 313km/SS 454km
January 11Stage 7 Calama-Salta
L 586km/SS 220km
January 12Stage 8 Salta-SanMiguel de Tucuman
L 247km/SS 491km
January 13Rest Day
January 14Stage 9 SanMiguel de Tucuman-Cordoba
L 259km/SS 593km
January 15Stage 10 Cordoba-La Rioja
L 279km/SS 357km
January 16Stage 11 La Rioja-Fiambala
L 262km/SS 221km
January 17Stage 12 Fiambala-Copiapo
L 396km/SS 319km
January 18Stage 13 Copiapo-La Serena
L 294km/SS 441km
January 19Stage 14 La Serena-Santiago
L 502km/SS 128km

Are there any events held before the start of the rally?
There are registration activities, and an inspection and display of the vehicles. The atmosphere feels just like that of a festival.
For the three days from January 1 to January 3 before the race begins, there was a registration for the entrants and an inspection of the racing vehicles. There was a strict check of factors including whether the vehicles’ specifications were in accordance with regulations, and whether the entrants were carrying the items they were required to have. Also, near the venue there was a display of the vehicles, which tends to create a lot of excitement. This is how the days before the start of the race on January 5 were passed in Lima.
How do entrants follow the course during the rally?
Basically, they navigate using the route map provided by the organizer.
In the auto (automobile) class and camion (truck) class, there are in most cases two people in the vehicle, comprising a driver and a navigator. The navigator informs the driver of the distance and direction to landmarks in the route book, and provides instructions on where to take turnoffs. He also manages the target travel time calculated from the driving speed. Needless to say, this can become quite difficult when competing with rivals. However, in the motorcycle and quad classes (including the sit-on style buggy and ATV) that can have only one rider, one person must handle both the riding and navigation. While the route book for automobiles is in booklet style, the motorcycle route book is a rolled-up scroll in which all of the pages have been joined together. Riders navigate while racing by inserting the route map each day into a route book holder fitted onto their motorcycle. A GPS and compass are also used, but distances and maps are the principal focus. This route book is not a map. Rather, it is comprised of various arrows, symbols and pictures.
So, is it advantageous to prepare and make observations by riding over the predicted route in advance?
From May 2012 until the end of the rally, there are restrictions on vehicles to be entered into the 2013 Dakar Rally from visiting, as well as on participants from staying in the area of the predicted route.
In the spirit of fair play, actions that would offer an unfair advantage in the Dakar Rally such as route and logistics observation are restricted from May 1, 2012, and those who ignore this restriction may be prevented from participating in the rally.
Are adventure rallies safe?
There are risks involved. However, safety measure implementation is also progressing.
The organizer tracks entrants with a system called “IriTrack.” This system was developed as a safety measure in case riders or drivers become unable to transport themselves due to losing their bearings, running out of fuel, or falling over. A function called “Sentinel” has also been added to the designated GPS. This system uses sounds to alert entrants that they are about to be overtaken by another vehicle when surrounded by dust to prevent accidents that occur in situations such as this. Entrants also carry a communication device so that the organizer can contact them if they stop. The IriTrack system can additionally be used to follow the different stages of the competition day by day from starting point to goal on the organizer’s website, making it an essential item for supporters too.

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