One of the most epic races in all of motorsports was cancelled last week due to the unfortunate intersection of sport and the dark side of international relations: the Dakar Rally, the 5,760 mile race from Lisbon, Portugal to Dakar, Senegal.
The race was called off for the first time in its thirty year history based both on reported threats and by the slaying of a French family in Mauritania, the Northwest African country that hosts five race stages. The race has been beset by security concerns for a few years now; in 2000 the race organizers airlifted the race from Niger to Libya to avoid "danger zones" in the area.
This makes sense given the threat and the 3,000 person caravan that makes up the race. Plus, an additional side benefit will be all the bills racers won't have to pay for replacement axles, since the Dakar Rally's path follows rutted African desert roads that can turn a car into a very inefficient airplane in a single bounce.
It's like Red Bull: it gives you wings! And no landing gear.
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.