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Dakar Rally Hits Peru

The 2012 Dakar Rally is a 14-day race with stages that vary from 500 to 560 miles per day (9,000km in total) spread across Argentina, Chile, and Peru.  The event was moved here from Africa in 2009 after safety concerns in the region become more prominent.  The three major competitive groups in the race are motocross, cars, and trucks.  As you will see in the video, the larger the machine, the louder the fans get.

When the first motorcycles arrived, a mob of fans ran with excitement, only matched by a Peruvian futbol match, towards the fresh tracks that now mark the desert.   This is the first time in race history the drivers have been greeted in Peru, so as you can imagine the excitement was high. While filming the race I nearly got taken out by a motorcycle traveling approximately 120km per hour.  Luckily I survived untouched and wasn’t taken by helicopter to the hospital.  The fans however welcomed it in hopes of being seen by the 150 million viewers watching the race worldwide.

Next I met up with family and friends of Peru’s top quad drivers, Ignacio Flores Seminario to hear what they had to say about today’s event.  I also had a chance to speak with Ignacio to find out what Living the Dream means to him.  Unfortunately due to an injury he didn’t get to finish the race.  Nonetheless we soaked him with beer to celebrate his successful year!

Reflecting back on the day’s photos, I realized my favorites were not just of the race, but the emotions captured of the Peruvian people.  There’s no doubt the drivers felt welcome as they drove through Peru – A country known for its rich history and culture.  On this day, I was proud to welcome the drivers to this amazing country.

As today’s stage ended, the drivers made there way into the valley back at camp as they prepare for 2 more stages of the race before finishing in Lima.

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