The biggest rally-raid in the world: The taste of the extreme
Dakar Rally is one to biggest rallies organized in the world, comprising of the hardest sporting challenges of this era. It consists of one stage per day comprising at least one “special stage” per day, sometimes off-road, on terrain without tracks such as desert. The total distance covered is several thousand kilometers and the event takes place over a period of between 10-15 days. The race involves navigation, which is done via a roadbook provided by the organisers and handed out at the start of each stage. This means the course remains a secret until the roadbook is handed out to the crews. The Dakar features five categories of vehicles. Motorbikes, quads, cars (T1/T2), lightweight vehicles (T3/T4) and trucks (T5) have given their riders and crews the chance to experience an extraordinary adventure and discover the breathtaking landscapes of the countries.
With its 43rd edition, the Dakar Rally will be held for the second consecutive year in Saudi Arabia for a new tour of the deserts. Now that the third chapter of the Dakar is open, all competitors will find again the beautiful landscapes they have discovered in 2020, but on a 100% new route. On the 4800 kilometers of special stages, they will not rides on former tracks. For all competitors, scrutineering took place on January 1st and 2nd in Jeddah. The Dakar Rally race started on January the 2nd January with a prologue of 10 kilometers outside Jeddah. This year competitors will start their 12 stages of the Dakar Adventure through the South to Wadi Al-Dawasair before going back to the north reaching Ha’il –the main Saudi Motorsport City –for the rest day.
Saudi Arabia is home to five historical and archaeological sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, as well as the two most important pilgrimage sites in Islam. The country is bordered to the west by the Red Sea and the east by the Arabic Gulf and boasts three cities with a population of more than a million people: Riyadh, Jeddah, Mecca.
The second week of the race started with a marathon stage and then competitors came back to the famous city of Neom and three last days close to the Red Sea. The 2021 Dakar also takes a trip down memory lane with a launch of the Dakar classic in parallel with the main race a test of consistency will be held the vehicle that took part in the Dakar or other major rally raid events before the year 2000.
The cars and trucks that forged the legend of the Dakar are making a comeback in time for chapter 3, where everyone is eager to find the Porsche 911, the Volkswagen Iltis and Buggy Sunhill again on the Dakar. The Dakar 2021 welcomed 555 competitors among them around 54 for the Dakar Classic participating in the race, and a total of 321 vehicles; that is 129 bikes and quads including 35 original by Motul, 70 cars, 54 lightweight vehicles (prototypes and ssvs), 42 trucks, and 26 Dakar classic vehicles.
The field included 16 women, 49 different nationalities, 144 rookies, and 83 legends competitors with more than 10 Dakar’s under the belt.
This year, the sporting team have focused on slowing down the vehicles to make the race even safer and more technical. Some Innovations have been introduced to improve the safety of the competitors. To highlight danger zones where competitors receive an audio warning in the approach of the difficulty to keep them alert. Certain tricky and hazardous sectors are categorized as slow zones where the speed limit is 90 kilometers an hour. No tire changes are allowed during the marathon stage and each elite bike rider is granted six rear tires for the entire rally. Airbag vests are now mandatory for all the bike and quad competitors; they can reduce the severity of injury in a serious crash. Finally, the distribution of the road book will be done every morning 15 minutes before the start of the stage.
An Eco-Friendly Approach
The Dakar is stepping up its commitment in the following areas:
- Offsetting all CO2 emissions resulting from the organization of the race and the competitors by supporting Greenoxx, a South American NGO that combats deforestation in the Amazon and carries out ecological and social projects among communities in the region.
- Waste treatment and systematic collection after the race passes by.
- Redistribution of uneaten food.
- Working together with national authorities to respect sensitive and/or historical areas.
Dakar is a rally raid event for those ready to take on the challenge of the wildness and the forces of nature.
Dream. Dare. Live it.