Countdown to 40th Dakar Rally: South America debut (VIDEO)

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As we count down to the 40th Dakar Rally, coming in January 2018 to NBCSN, here’s a quick video of the rally reborn after a one-year absence.

The Dakar Rally’s 30-year anniversary in 2009 saw the event reborn after a one-year cancellation in 2008. Due to security threats in Mauritania, the 2008 Dakar rally wasn’t held.

But in 2009, the rally resumed, albeit with a twist: For the first time, the rally was not held in Africa and Europe, but instead moved to South America, with a route starting and ending in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a run through Valparaiso, Chile for its rest day.

Giniel de Villiers won overall in cars in a Volkswagen, with Marc Coma taking the bikes win on a KTM. Coma has since won in bikes in 2011, 2014 and 2015, after also winning in 2006. De Villiers, the South African, took his only overall Dakar win this year.

The rally route regularly hits Argentina and finished there last year. It will also be part of this year’s route, which also encompasses Peru and Bolivia.

This will be the 10th Dakar Rally consecutive and in total held in South America.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”