For the second year in a row, Chile will not feature as part of the Dakar Rally, as the Chilean government has opted not to host the iconic rally raid.

The recent decision comes from the Chamber of Deputies of Chile (the lower house of Chile’s bicameral Congress), which failed to get the needed majority vote to continue hosting the race.

With 42 votes in favor of hosting the Dakar Rally again, 33 against, and 17 abstentions, the failed proposal was opposed mostly on environmental grounds, as many deputies thought that the environmental impact of the race on Chile’s terrain has been too great.

This news is an about-face for the Dakar Rally, as the ASO (the organizers of the Dakar Rally) seemed to have all but confirmed Chile and Argentina for competition back in January of this year.

That report by Argentina’s national new agency also indicated that Uruguay and Paraguay were close to finalizing deals with the ASO, with Bolivia and Brazil also showing interest in hosting the 2017 Dakar Rally.

For competitors and spectators alike, the loss of Chile from the race route likely means that the large dune sections that the Dakar Rally has become famous for will likely not feature in the 2017 edition.

As social and environmental pressures continue to daunt the ASO, the future of the Dakar Rally is on shaky ground. There is already talk of the race leaving the South American continent, but then the question has to be asked: where to next?

Source: Canada Moto GuideDeportes Télam; Photo: KTM

  • Grant Madden


  • ‘Mike Smith

    Go back to the original route, and let participants carry light machine guns for security. I’d pay money to watch that!

  • spamtasticus

    Mexico or China is my prediction

  • n/a

    Jamaica mon?

  • Sayyed Bashir

    If Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil are interested in hosting the 2017 Rally then why is the future of the Dakar Rally on shaky ground? Only Chile is missing, and when they see the economic, tourism and public relations impact of the Rally rather than the environmental impact on remote sand dunes that no one goes to, they will also come around. There were more votes in favor of hosting the Rally, so why did the proposal fail?

  • Because it needed a majority, as the article stated.

    Interest in hosting a race is worth the paper it’s written.

  • paulus

    China/Asia. Off-road rally is a huge sport in parts of China… and they have the varied terrain and desert for it.

  • Jordan.g

    ‘Straya mate, c’mon.

  • Superdukedotnet

    Environmental impact my ass…..this is simply a matter of the people that have the power not receiving the palm greasing incentives they feel they should receive for a yes vote.

    Call me cynical but that’s unfortunately the way the world runs now.

  • AHA

    The MdS is run in Morocco every year without security issues. But there are plenty of other possibilities some already mentioned. Basically anywhere there’s high altitude (+3000m) & hundreds of miles of dunes & other punishing wasteland. Extremes of temperature (30 or more degrees C range each day) is also a must. Mongolia already hosts a Dakar ‘warm up’ race as does Dubai.

  • Gary

    That’s it! I refuse to eat their sea bass until they reverse this impetuous decision!

  • Bob Krzeszkiewicz

    I can see this. There’s mountains. plains and desert there. Can get mighty cold too. Not sure about facilities for spectators in a great many of those areas.

  • Bob Krzeszkiewicz

    Highly doubtful. Chile is a magnificent country and they have a pretty nice system there worthy of respect. A far cry from how things are done in Mexico.

  • Bob Krzeszkiewicz

    More for me then !

  • Spurdog1

    Australia could be brilliant. I expect there would be some lobbying from the Aboriginals though.

  • Spurdog1

    Or Chilli

  • Superdukedotnet

    Irrelevant….there is coruption throughout the world and Chile is no exception.

  • fzrider

    I’ve driven through the American South West. Carried extra gas and a second spare tire.. .just saying.