Dakar Rally: Rugged racers cross desert and dune in South America

Sign up for the NEWS newsletterYou have been successfully added to our newsletter.Let our news meet your inboxNewsDakar Rally: Rugged racers cross desert and dune in South AmericaVehicles in five different categories scramble over rugged terrain through three countries.The 40th Dakar Rally is underway. Racers began in Lima, Peru, and will cross the finish line in Cordoba, Argentina, on Jan. 20.Left: Adrien Van Beveren of France rides his Yamaha motorbike during the fifth stage on Jan. 10.— Ricardo Mazalan / APSharePeugeot’s French driver Sebastien Loeb sits near his car after running into sand trouble on Jan. 10.Started by French motorcylist Thierry Sabine, the first rally of 182 vehicles left Paris on Dec. 26, 1978 on a 6,000-mile journey to Dakar, Senegal. The race has been in South America since security concerns forced the cancellation of the 2008 rally.— Franck Fife / AFP – Getty ImagesShareFord’s Czech driver Martin Prokop and co-driver Jan Tomanek and Mini’s Finnish driver Mikko Hirvonen and German co-driver Andreas Schulz ride through the dunes of Tanaca during the 2018 Dakar Rally Stage 5 between San Juan De Marcona and Arequipa in Peru, on Jan. 10.— Franck Fife / AFP – Getty ImagesShareJoan Barreda Bort of Spain drives his Honda on Jan. 10.— Andres Stapff / ReutersShareToyota’s Qatari driver Nasser Al-Attiyah and French co-driver Mathieu Baumel ride through the dunes of Tanaca on Jan. 10.— Franck Fife / AFP – Getty ImagesShareAustralian biker Toby Price powers his KTM bike over the dunes on Jan. 10.— Franck Fife / AFP – Getty ImagesShareA driver walks on a sand dune on Jan. 10.— Franck Fife / AFP – Getty ImagesShareCyril Despres and copilot David Castera, both of France, inspect their damaged vehicle on Jan 9.— Andres Stapff / ReutersShareSpanish Carlos Sainz competes in the fourth stage on Jan. 9.A stretch of up to 100 kilometers of dunes, one of the longest in Dakar history, will be the main challenge facing the rally riders in their fourth stage.— David Fernandez / EPAShareMotorbikes and quads race along the beach during the fourth stage on Jan. 9.— Ricardo Mazalan / APShareKevin Benavides of Argentina took fifth place during the second stage on Jan. 8.— Li Ming / Zuma PressShareThe Toyota of driver Alicia Reina and co-driver Carlos Dante Pelayo, both of Argentina, burns after catching fire during the third stage on Jan. 8.— Ricardo Mazalan / APShareGaston Gonzalez of Argentina rides his Yamaha on Jan. 8.— Andres Stapff / ReutersShareDmitry Sotnikov of Team KAMAZ-Master races on Jan. 8.— Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool via ReutersShareMini’s Polish driver Jakub Przygonski and Belgian co-driver Tom Colsoul race through the desert on Jan. 7.— Franck Fife / AFP – Getty ImagesShareEugenio Amos of Italy and co-driver Sebastien Delaunay of France drive in the 2WD Class loop stage on Jan. 7.— Dan Istitene / Getty ImagesShareA woman lies on the sand as a competitor passes by on Jan. 7, 2018.— Franck Fife / AFP – Getty ImagesShareDrivers tackle the monstrous dunes on Jan. 7, 2018.— Franck Fife / AFP – Getty ImagesShareSsangyong’s Spanish driver Oscar Fuertes and co-driver Diego Vallejo kick up sand on Jan. 7, 2018.— Franck Fife / AFP – Getty ImagesShareThe Mitsubishi of Cristina Gutierrez Herrero and co-driver Gabriel Moiset Ferrer, both of Spain, turns over during the first stage on Jan. 6, 2018.— Ricardo Mazalan / APSharePeugeot’s French driver Sebastien Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena of France compete during the stage one on Jan. 6, 2018.— Franck Fife / AFP – Getty ImagesShareCars race along the beach during the fourth stage on Jan. 9.More photo galleries on NBCNews.com— Ricardo Mazalan / APShare