665 valiant competitors crossed the start line of the 37th Dakar Rally the last weekend. They have to go across 5,661 miles of South America, a loop that incorporates the most inhospitable parts of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. The competitors will complete 13 stages. Satellite navigator systems are banned.
All participants receive only a route book as the only means of guidance, only in the night before a stage. This year, competitors' age is between 18 and 73. The 665 competitors are split among 138 cars, 164 bikes, 48 quads and 64 trucks. The annual rally is organized by the Amaury Sport Organisation. The race is open to amateur and professional entries, amateurs typically making up about eighty percent of the participants. It is an off-road endurance race. The special sections are off-road, crossing dunes, mud, camel grass, rocks and more. The distances of each stage is up to 800–900 km. The winners, in the last year, at different categories, were Nani Roma, Michel Perin, Marc Coma and Ignacio Casale.