Tunisian rally canceled

Rally racing: Hot, sandy, and expensive. But there's nothing else like it.
Sure, ripping around the desert on a motorcycle looks fun - until someone sticks an AK-47 in your face.

Terrorism is certainly putting a damper on rally raid racing.

First, the legendary Paris-Dakar rally was forced to abandon its namesake African route three years ago, and relocate to South America, after threats of terrorism put racers in danger. Now, another long-running desert race, the Oilibya Rally of Tunisia, has been canceled for 2012 for the same reason – organizers couldn’t get guarantees of safety.

This would have been the Tunisian race’s 31st edition. It’s a major stop on the international rally circuit, and it was a great race for amateurs to get accustomed to desert racing.

The organizers, NPO, say their Morocco race is still underway. They’re hoping to run the 2013 Tunisian rally, but unless they get the guarantees of safety they need, it may be a while before the race returns.

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