Those of you who know me, know I am big off road fan and the Dakar Rally begins January 5th. I was sent this link to a good article not only about Robby Gordon's effort, but a pretty balanced explanation of the Dakar Rally itself:
Since this article was published some bad news hit the Robby Gordon camp. The ship containing their support vehicles lost their propeller in the Atlantic and will not reach port until January 6th. They have a 6x6 support truck in Lisbon already and Ronn Bailey has offerred up his T4, which was picked up last night by the guys that are in Europe already. Hopefully they will have enough spare parts, but no matter what they are going to run the event.
Well besides the fact that I am still sick (bad cold) this news really is upsetting. I think it was smart from the stand of keeping everyone safe, but it is upsetting that this famous race in motorsport history is being canceled for the first time in it's 30 year history due to terrorist.
Lisbon, Friday the 4th of January 2008
A.S.O. cancels the 2008 edition of the Dakar rally
After different exchanges with the French government - in particular the Ministry for Foreign Affairs - , and based on their firm recommendations, the organisers of the Dakar have taken the decision to cancel the 2008 edition of the rally, scheduled from the 5th to the 20th of January between Lisbon and Senegal’s capital.
Based on the current international political tension and the murder of four French tourists last 24th of December linked to a branch of Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb, but also and mainly the direct threats launched directly against the race by terrorist organisations, no other decision but the cancellation of the sporting event could be taken by A.S.O.
A.S.O.’s first responsibility is to guarantee the safety of all: that of the populations in the countries visited, of the amateur and professional competitors, of the technical assistance personnel, of the journalists, partners and rally collaborators. A.S.O. therefore reaffirms that the choice of security is not, has never been and will never be a subject of compromise at the heart of the Dakar rally.
A.S.O. condemns the terrorist menace that annihilates a year of hard work, engagement and passion for all the participants and the different actors of the world’s biggest off-road rally. Aware of the huge frustration, especially in Portugal, Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal, and beyond the general disappointment and the huge economical consequences in terms of direct and indirect repercussions for the countries visited, A.S.O. will continue to defend the major values of great sporting events and will carry on its engagement for a durable development through the Actions Dakar, started 5 years ago in sub-Saharan Africa with SOS Sahel International.
The Dakar is a symbol and nothing can destroy symbols. The cancellation of the 2008 edition does not endanger the future of the Dakar. To offer, for 2009 a new adventure to all the off-road rally passionate is a challenge that A.S.O. will take on in the months to come, faithful to its engagement and its passion for sports.