Written by Cameron Gale, Edited by Simran Kanthi
The Dakar Rally is back; it is one of the hardest rallies in the world as the drivers have 14 stages to navigate and a prologue stage. The drivers will have to compete with the desert sands, heat, and stone. This year, the rally will start at Sea Camp on 31 December 2022 and finish at Dammam on 15 January 2023. The overall distance of the Dakar Rally this year is 7,500km (4000 miles).
The rally is called so due to the original route being from Paris, France, and ending in Dakar, Senegal. This route staged the rally from its inception in 1978 till 2007. Following the cancellation of the 2008 Dakar Rally due to threats in Mauritania, the rally was shifted to South America in 2009. In 2020, the location of the rally moved to the Middle East, in Saudi Arabia.
What is the difference between an endurance stage and a power stage?
In the endurance stages, the drivers have two days to navigate the stage, resulting in sleeping in their cars. Power stages are exactly what it sounds like, you have to navigate the stage as quickly as you can but the Dakar Rally isn't about being fast, some drivers are just thankful that they finished.
What classes are there?
In this year's edition of the Dakar Rally, you have a total of eight classes. Bikes, cars, quads, lightweight, SSV, truck, open and classic. Each of these categories apart from the bikes have the same stage. Bikes don't have the same stages in case they collide with cars but each of their stages is the same length.