La Paz (Bolivia) : Eight Bolivian racers are in neighbouring Argentina preparing for the 2014 Dakar Rally from Jan 5 to 18, which for the first time ever passes through Bolivia.
The drivers, including Bolivian-born world motocross champion Juan Carlos "Chavo" Salvatierra, have gathered in Rosario, Argentina, where the legendary rugged off-road race will start, with racers in three divisions, including cars/trucks, quads and motorcycles, reports Xinhua.
Most of Bolivia's competitors are new to the rally, but seasoned drivers have won national titles in their respective categories.
Ramiro Aguirre, a two-time national circuit champion from 2004 and 2009, will be driving a Toyota Hilux.
Walter Nosiglia, former national motocross champion, will be racing in a different category, the quad division.
Fabricio Fuentes, a four-time motocross national champion, will be racing a Yamaha Gas Gas 450cc, which already has 1,200 km on it, after having logged numerous training runs through the Bolivian countryside.
Motorcycle racer Ernesto Eterovic said he had spent the past several years saving up to be able to take part in the race.
"The Dakar is a treat I wanted to give myself," he said, adding that his 19-year-old son, who goes by the same name, will serve as his co-pilot, turning the race into a special experience for him and his family.
Miguel Bulacia, the older brother of multiple national champion Marco Bulacia, said he will be racing behind the wheel of a car in support of his younger brother, should he need it.
His objective is not to win, but to make sure that Marco does, he said.