This morning, the Dakar organisers have unveiled the major lines of the 28th
edition that will take place from the 31st of December to the 15th of
January 2006. After the rally had already started in France and Spain, it
will this time take off from Portugal and its capital Lisbon before heading
to Africa. The technical and administrative scrutineering will be held in
the ‚White city‘ on the 28th, 29th and 30th of December and will be followed
by a first very demanding special.
Once the Mediterranean Sea crossed, the rally caravan will head to Dakar
going through Morocco, Mauritania, Mali and Guinea (that hasn’t been visited
by the Dakar since 1986) and finally Senegal. The course that is currently
being prepared will be a trademark of the new team built around Etienne
Lavigne, organisation director. StÃ©phane Le Bail, in charge of the car race
and David Castera, in charge of the bike race, will bring their enthusiasm
and their experience of rally-raid to carry on the progression of the Dakar.
The experiences and concerns of the past few years have decided the
organisers to adopt a series of new measures with a goal to improve the
security of the competitors and the populations of the countries travelled
through. As of 2006, the speed will be forbidden above 150km/h for the bikes
and trucks. For the cars, A.S.O. is studying with the different federations
a possibility to set a maximum speed on all or some parts of the specials
that could prove to have risks linked to high speeds. In addition, the
Iritrack position system for the competitors that was tested during the 2005
rally will be mandatory for the drivers and teams in the race as well as on
the assistance course.