Fernanda Kanno aiming to become first Peruvian woman to finish Dakar

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Fernanda Kanno has one Dakar Rally behind her and now is aiming to become the first Peruvian woman to reach the finish line.

“I think I’m ready to finish the Dakar. I want to leave Lima and return after 11 days as the first Peruvian woman to finish the world’s toughest race,” the journalist and racing driver said in an interview with EFE.

In the 2018 edition of the Dakar Rally, Kanno was forced to withdraw from the race with just a few stages to go due to a mechanical issue.


An inexperienced racer last year who gave her team the name “from 0 to Dakar,” she has trained hard in recent months for the 2019 rally, which will take place from Jan. 6-17 and start and finish in her native Lima.

“I didn’t know anything last year. I went in blind. Other Peruvian drivers who had raced Dakar had told me what to expect. I’d read the guidelines and also learned to navigate, but only Dakar can prepare you for Dakar,” Kanno said.

The Peruvian also has sought to encourage more women to pursue their dreams and try to tackle this famed rally race.

Her example motivated Gianna Velarse to race in 2019 and become the first Peruvian woman to compete in Dakar’s motorcycle competition.

Kanno also said she was pleased that she will be joined in the next cars competition by her friend Andrea Lafarja, who will become the first Paraguayan woman to compete in a Dakar Rally.