The Dakar Rally (or simply "The Dakar"; formerly known as "The Paris-Dakar" or "Paris to Dakar Rally") is an annual rally raid type of off-road automobile race, organised by the Amaury Sport Organisation. Most events since the inception in 1978 were from Paris in France to Dakar in Senegal, but due to political instability in Africa, the 2009 Dakar Rally was run in South America, the first time the race took place outside of Europe and Africa. It will Possibly return to South America in 2010. The race is open to amateur and professional entries. Amateurs typically make up about eighty percent of the participants.
The 2008 Dakar Rally was canceled on January 4, 2008 amid fears of terrorist attack(s). This caused serious doubts over the future of the rally. Various newspapers in Africa called the cancellation a "death sentence" for the race. Chile and Argentina, in South America, offered their territory to host the event, as well as the Czech Republic, or Hungary in Central Europe. The ASO finally decided to establish the Dakar Series competition, whose first event was the 2008 Central Europe Rally (Hungary-Romania), between April 20 and April 26, 2008. The 2009 event was organized in the two South American countries, between January 3-18, 2009. The competition will return to South America in 2010.