Friday, January 19, 2024

The Dakar Rally


Reuters - "Driving in the desert: Surreal images from the Dakar Rally"

From Wikipedia:

The Dakar Rally or simply "The Dakar", formerly known as the "Paris–Dakar Rally", is an annual rally raid organised by the Amaury Sport Organisation. Most events since the inception in 1978 were staged from Paris, France, to Dakar, Senegal. Security threats in Mauritania led to the cancellation of the 2008 rally, and events from 2009 to 2019 were held in South America. Since 2020, the rally has been held in Saudi Arabia. The event is open to amateur and professional entries, professionals typically making up about eighty percent of the participants.

The rally is an off-road endurance event. The terrain that the competitors traverse is much tougher than that used in conventional rallying, and the vehicles used are typically true off-road vehicles and motorcycles, rather than modified on-road vehicles. Most of the competitive special sections are off-road, crossing dunes, mud, camel grass, rocks, and erg among others. The distances of each stage covered vary from short distances up to 800–900 kilometres (500–560 mi) per day. The rough terrain and lack of skill usually results in accidents and serious injuries.


Imagine a race where cars, motorcycles, trucks and quads zoom across vast deserts, challenging both the vehicles and the drivers to their limits. That's the Dakar Rally, an incredible adventure that takes place every year in a different part of the world.

The 46th edition of the Dakar Rally will be hosted by Saudi Arabia from January 5–19, 2024. Starting from the city of AlUla and ending at Yanbu on the Red Sea coast, the near 7,900km route, of which 4,727km are timed specials, includes some of the most breathtaking and difficult terrains of Saudi Arabia including the Empty Quarter, Rub' al Khali and Wadi Rum.

The race is a combination of speed, endurance, strategy and teamwork, and it is considered one of the most grueling and exciting motorsports competitions in the world. Drivers and their navigators must work together to navigate tricky terrain, overcome obstacles and face unexpected challenges in order to make it to the finish line.

With more than 1,000 people lining up to race, the 2024 Dakar Rally promises to be another epic rally-raid adventure over the sand dunes with a host of established global stars and talented young racers out to impress.

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