JANUARY 22, 2008
Now there's an idea
The government of Chile is supporting a big to take the Dakar Rally to South America in 2009. This year's event was cancelled because of a terrorist threat in Mauretania in Africa, and there are reports that Chile's deputy sports minister Jaime Pizarro has been in Paris with a letter from Michelle Bachelet, who has been president of the country since 2006, asking the Amaury Sports Organization to consider running the event in Chile.
There are suggestions that the event could take place in the Atacama Desert in the north of Chile and there are even suggestions that Argentina and Brazil would bee happy to hold stages as well.
This is not a bad idea as Africa's political stability cannot be relied upon but it is also rather difficult to imagine a rally to Dakar taking place in Chile, unless, of course, the competitors are flown to Senegal for the final stages.
If it is decided that no physical link is needed to Dakar - which would make more financial sense - it will beg the question whether the British GP could take place in Dubai.