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Report: 2010 Dakar Rally Did $566,000 In Damage To Chile's Archaeological Sites

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Robby Gordon driving his HUMMER H3 race truck during Dakar, 2010. Photo via http://www.dakar.com

Robby Gordon driving his HUMMER H3 race truck during Dakar, 2010. Photo via http://www.dakar.com

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Anyone that's dreamed of owning an F-150 SVT Raptor or any other serious off-road truck has probably also dreamed about running in rallies like the Baja 1000 or the Dakar Rally. But as much fun as it is to run full-tilt across untamed terrain, it comes at a price. A price of about $570,000, according to Chile's archaeological sites council.

Chile's National Monuments Council has issued a report that the 2010 Dakar Rally caused over $566,000 (300 million Chilean pesos) in damage to the archaeological sites along the race route--and they're seeking to be compensated for the damage by the rally's co-host, Chile's National Sports Institute.

The NMC says the rally damaged 56 of the 111 heritage sites the route passed through, with 13 sites suffering "serious loss of archeological data," according to the report.

It's a sobering counterpoint to the excitement of the Dakar Rally. Environmental and potentially historical or cultural impact is something any off-road enthusiast should be cognizant of when choosing to drive their vehicle through the wilderness, lest the activity be deemed too damaging to be allowed to continue. And we certainly don't want to see that happen.

[AFP Global Edition via Yahoo! News]

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Comments (6)
  1. I always wondered whether anyone had a problem with the clear impact these races seemed to have (at least from the pics and videos) on the terrain the races were held. As always, there will be a balance - some will call for an outright ban; others will say to heck with any environmental concerns. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail and a middle ground will be discovered.
     
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  2. This is REPREHENSIBLE, and I hope the entire racing community is embarassed. They won't be, of course. But they should be.
     
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  3. This is pretty fishy. Monetary value for damages to historic sites that simply cannot be restored? What can they possibly do with the money to fix these sites, go back in time in a time machine? Once the data is lost, it's gone for good. You can't read a lost engraving on a wall. You can't study an ancient tool or weapon after its been run over. Money is moot at this point.
     
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  4. Why can't they just keep to the trails? And I see Hummer is sponsoring this... Haven't they heard of 'tread lightly?'
     
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  5. This smells funny since it's the Chilean Government that approved all the race routes. They even modified one of the middle stages at the last minute since they realized it ran through a sensitive area.
    Sounds like a scheme to milk the race organization for a bit of cash!
     
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  6. I agree with Dan, surely it was all approved at some point by the government who would have consulted various people and groups.
    Move it back to N.Africa, didn't hear of any sites being 'damaged' there.
     
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