Kansas City, Mo. – Every New Year's Day, the 15-day Dakar race begins. The first race took place in 1979 and went from Paris to Dakar, Senegal. Today, it winds through 6000 miles of mostly deserts in Argentina, Chile and Peru, and it involves motorcycles, cars and trucks.
The DAKAR is world's longest, and, some would say, most dangerous cross country race. Drivers get lost, vehicles break down, and racers can get hurt or even killed. Susan Wilson recently spoke with motorcycle racer Luis Belaustegui who hails from Argentina. He raced the 2011 Dakar representing Kansas City. He says that, despite the competition, the intense conditions of the race cause drivers to observe a strict code of conduct to help each other out.
photos: courtesy of Luis Belaustegui
Luis Belaustegui is UMKC's Language Resource Center Director. He plans to race again in the 2012 Dakar Race.