Dakar Rally Raid
The Dakar Rally (or simply "The Dakar"; formerly known as the "Paris–Dakar Rally") is an annual rally raid organised by the Amaury Sport Organisation. Most events since the inception in 1978 were from Paris, France, to Dakar, Senegal, but due to security threats in Mauritania, which led to the cancellation of the 2008 rally, races since 2009 have been held in South America. The race is open to amateur and professional entries, amateurs typically making up about eighty percent of the participants.
The race is an off-road endurance event. The terrain that the competitors traverse is much tougher than that used in conventional rallying, and the vehicles used are true off-road vehicles rather than modified on-road vehicles. Most of the competitive special sections are off-road, crossing dunes, mud, camel grass, rocks, and erg among others. The distances of each stage covered vary from short distances up to 800–900 kilometres (500–560 mi) per day.
Over 190 different countries take the international feed of the event with a roundup of every day being made into a 26-minute programme. This has been commentated on by Toby Moody for ten years, and most recently Ben Constanduros.
The organisers provide 20 edit stations for various countries to produce their own programmes. There are four TV helicopters, six stage cameras, and three bivouac crews to make over 1,000 hours of TV over the two-week period. In the United States, coverage can be seen on NBC Sports Network.
A 2006 television documentary Race to Dakar described the experiences of a team, including the English actor Charley Boorman, in preparation for and entry into the 2006 Dakar Rally.