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Hungary, Romania to host replacement Dakar

Hungary and Romania will host the first competition of the Dakar Series in April, the organizer of the Dakar Rally announced.

Etienne Lavigne, director of the Amaury Sport Organization which has run the real Dakars, said the Central Europe Rally would from April 20-26 to allow those who would have raced in January Dakar a chance to compete

“The race was urgently organized to provide visibility for their sponsors at a big international competition,” Lavigne told a news conference in Budapest.

The 3,000-kilometer event will start in Budapest and head east to the northern Romanian city of Sovata before looping back to Hungary to finish in the western town of Balatonfüred at Lake Balaton.

Lavigne said it would have about 1500km of special stages.

The next Dakar was planned for 2009 but was brought forward after the 2008 Dakar was cancelled last month after four French tourists were murdered in Mauritania, through which much of the event would have run, on December 24, 2007. (motoring)