It’s official: 2013 Dakar Rally will finish in Chile

Race organizers are currently looking for the ideal place in Santiago to hold next year’s award ceremony.

As this year’s race kicked off in Argentina, organizers of the Dakar Rally confirmed that next year’s event would finish in Chile.

Race director, Etienne Lavigne, said the official ceremony at the end of the race would take place in and around Santiago.

Although many details about the 2013 race are yet to be decided, organizers and local authorities of the major motorsport competition are currently staking out iconic locations in the Chilean capital to host the prize ceremony at the end of the race.

One of the favorite options at this stage is the esplanade in Parque O’Higgins, which handled crowds of up to 150,000 during the inaugural edition of the Lollapalooza music festival in Chile, last April 2011.

Other options being considered by race organizers include the Plaza de Armas in the historic city center or the grand presidential palace, La Moneda, just a few blocks away on the city’s major thoroughfare, Alameda.

Organizers said the race could even pass through Santiago before finishing in the port city of Valparaíso, Lavigne told El Mercurio.

Under this alternative, the complete convoy would make its way back to Santiago following the completion of the race for the official award ceremony.

While it has been confirmed that the 2013 edition of the race will close in Santiago, the final route for the race is still being determined.

It is believed that organizers are planning to return to Peru, where this year’s competition will finish, but there is also speculation that the race could pass through several other South American nations.

“We have spoken with people in Bolivia, Uruguay and Brazil, but we still don’t know how everything will pan out,” the competition’s manager of international relations, Grégory Murac, told Radio BioBio.

“I can certainly say that [next year’s race] will finish in Chile but we will provide further details later.”

The dates for 2013 edition of the race are also up in the air, as organizers have yet to confirm whether the race will begin on Sunday, December 30, 2012, or a week later, on Sunday, January 5, 2013.